Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Royal Greenhouses in Laeken

The ritual is a century old, every year the Royal Greenhouses in Laeken (Serres Royales de Laeken) open their doors to the public for three weeks at the start of spring. From 19 April to 12 May, admission is 2.50€ WEBSITE

The Royal Greenhouses in Laeken cover six acres of neoclassical rotundas, domes and galleries. Twenty full time gardeners tend the giant ferns, fruit-bearing banana trees, grottoes, glades and grassy vistas. Highlights include the Azalea House, the rotunda, a colony of birds and the orange trees. Walkways are filled with climbing geraniums and fuchsias, whose blossoms form an overhead canopy. The visit ends with a short walk through the Royal Park.
Besides the greenhouses, the visit includes the Queen Elisabeth's workshop and the stables of the castle which were built in the beginning of the 20th century during the reign of King Leopold II and King Albert I. They are a masterpiece of the architects Girault and Flanneau.

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