- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Royal greenhouses of Laeken open to public on 15 April
The Royal Greenhouse in Laeken will open to the public from 15 April to 8 May, the palace has announced.
Nocturnal events return to the schedule this year, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, as well as on Easter Monday, 18 April.
The routes of the new edition criss-cross the interior and exterior of the greenhouses on a 2.5 hour walk that begins in the gardens of the royal estate. There, visitors will be treated to a panoramic view of the architecture of the greenhouses.
Along the way, visitors can admire ancient ruins on the edge of a pond and a vaulted rose garden.
A shorter route is also available lasting 1.5 hours that begins on the palm plateau and leads to the interior of the greenhouses, including a visit to the geranium gallery.
Visitors can take in the great dome of the winter garden, where they'll find large palms and tree ferns, as well as the Orangery.
Entrance tickets are €4 (free for children under 12) and must be booked on the website www.koninklijke-serres-royales.be. Tickets cannot be purchased on-site.
There will be a special escort and an adapted two-hour tour for people with reduced mobility on Thursday 28 April.
Iconic gardens with a storied past
The complex of greenhouses was designed in 1873 by architect Alphonse Balat for King Leopold II in the classical style of the castle of Laeken, following numerous conversations, letters, sketches, preliminary studies and designs exchanged between the pair.
The gardens include monumental pavilions, striking glass domes and long galleries that cut through the grounds like covered streets.
Considered a source of inspiration for new Belgian architecture at the time, together with the Art Nouveau movement, they soon became world famous.
The current plant collection of the Royal Greenhouses is considered exceptional in three ways: it contains a number of plants that were originally planted by King Leopold II; the current planting still corresponds in its entirety to the spirit in which the original plantings were conceived; and the Royal Greenhouses continue to feature many extremely rare and valuable plants.
Each year in spring, the greenhouses at Laeken are opened to the public for three weeks, a beloved hundred-year-old tradition.