While in Brussels, we stopped at the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, an immense network of greenhouses covering approximately 270,000 square feet at the Royal Palace of Laeken.
It was designed, in the art nouveau style out of glass and iron, by architect Alphonse Balat with the help of his student Victor Horta. Victor Horta was also one of the most important names in art nouveau architecture.
Construction of the entire complex took thirty years. The greenhouses feature around thirty pavilions, glass cupolas, and arcades that cross the site like covered streets.
The largest dome - The Winter Garden (Grand Jardin d'hiver or Grote Wintertuin) was built between 1874 and 1876. The dome was large enough to accommodate large palms, many of which date back to Leoplod II. Royal receptions were also held in the dome.
There is a wide variety of plants inside, including huge palms, azaleas, geraniums, camellias, fuchsias and medinillas.
These greenhouses are only open for the public a few weeks out of the year (late April/early May), so be sure to check the dates. Admission is a bargain at 2.50 Euros and free for kids.
|Royal Palace of Laeken|
|Dome of The Winter Garden|
|The Winter Garden|
|"Serre du Congo"|
|That's a big fern!|
|One of the corridors.|
|A collection of geraniums and fuchsias in this corridor|
|A planted corridor. The "Serre de Diane"|
|A collection of azaleas.|
|Interior of the dome of the Grand Jardin d'hiver or Grote Wintertuin|
|Fuchsias decorate the ceilings|
|Me and Medinilla magnifica|