The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken: an architectural and tropical jewel to visit

Kaya Josse.

04 Apr 2018, 12:04 Last Updated: 29 Apr 2019, 12:04

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken will soon be open to the public. Brusselslife tells you more about this iconic landmark and the 2018 edition.

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken: an architectural and tropical jewel to visit
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken: an architectural and tropical jewel to visit

A little history
Built in 1873 by the Belgian architect Alphonse Balat, following an order from King Leopold II - a great fan of plants, the splendid Royal Greenhouses of Laeken complete the Château de Laeken. This structure of glass and metal gave a new impetus to the Belgian architecture of the time. With Art Nouveau, their influence has spread to the four corners of the world!

A century-old tradition
As is the tradition established by King Leopold, the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are open to the public, annually and for three weeks. This tradition was born following the king's will to make his work discover to the citizens every spring. The rest of the year, greenhouses are maintained by dozens of gardeners.

In the program
This year, the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are open from Saturday, April 21 to Friday, May 11 included. They will be exceptionally closed on Monday, April 23 and Monday, May 7.

As every year, guided tours are organized on the occasion of the opening of the greenhouses. For this edition, Laeken Découverte makes you visit the Royal Domain of Laeken and tells you its story every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 14:00. After receiving explanations on the unique architecture of the greenhouses, you will have the opportunity to visit them individually.

For people with reduced mobility and their companions, a privileged route will be set up in almost all greenhouses on Tuesday, May 8th. Other days, it is always possible to visit the greenhouses but the course will be shorter.

Currently, the exposed plant collection contains several species that are part of the original plants of King Leopold II, as the collection of camellias, as well as many rare plants, some from the Congo. This year, the newly renovated Serre Congo will be available again.

In addition to the greenhouses, it is also possible to visit the Queen Elisabeth workshop, a sculpture workshop, and to admire a part of the park of Laeken Castle. On the first Sunday in May, from 14:00 to 17:00, you can also visit the Royal Crypt, located in the Church of Our Lady of Laeken, just minutes from the greenhouses.

Entrance to the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken is via the Honor Grids of Laeken Castle. An entrance fee of € 2.50 per person is required (admission is free for children under 18). The money raised will be donated to the Queen's Works, restoration work and the acquisition of works of art from the Royal Collection.

Book now a moment in your agenda to visit the greenhouses, otherwise you will have to wait until next year to discover this extraordinary floral collection!

Visits & Discoveries Guided Walks