Friday, November 27, 2015

Brussels - Park of Laeken

Date of visit: 10th October 2015

Park of Laeken is the Royal Park which can be access vide avenue du Parc Royal and avenue Jules van Praet. It is open free for public all year round. This beautiful park has been created in the 19th century during the King Leopold’s time. One side of the Laeken Park has an open view of Brussels city whilst on the other side there is a great view on the royal palace. The park is currently managed by Brussels Environment board. 

I've discovered about the Royal Greenhouse of Laeken, while scrolling the Brussels attractions photo that are available in many of the website. No matter what, I have to see it with my own eyes the beauty of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. Hence, I have persuaded Anne to change our prayer time direction to be in this park instead of Juberpark which was originally intended in the itineraries. That is how we discovered another beauty in this area, the Church of Our Lady of Laeken. The burial caretaker has directed us towards the park entrance. So unfortunate that we could not locate an entrance to the greenhouse till the end. As we were too tired from walking, we finally decided just to use the park for prayer, explored a little bit what we can covered and adjourned to see the Atomium. 

For the record, I have use Google photo editor software, Picasa 3 to improve the poor image of the photo that was snapped due to cloudy sky. It helps to bring some light into the photos and sharpen some of the images that can be seen from all photos that I shared in this entry. 

The monument of the Dynasty, in Gothic style and set up in memory of King Leopold I is not the only interesting thing of the park, that is integrated between the Avenue du Parc Royal and the Avenue Jules Van Praet. Numerous trees can be found here like chestnut-trees, rowan trees, purple beeches etc. Some of the trees are more than 100 years old. Although we covered only a small area of the park, we somehow manage to see some of the monuments and the big huge and old trees within the vicinity. Such a bless trip. 

Even with our failure to find the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, I am more than happy to share some fact about it in this entry. The Royal Greenhouse is a vast complex of monumental heated greenhouses in the park of the Royal Palace of Laeken in the north of Brussels. It is one of the major tourist attractions of the city. The complex was commissioned by King Leopold II and designed by Alphonse Balat. Built between 1874 and 1895, the complex was finished with the completion of the so-called "Iron Church", a domed greenhouse that would originally serve as the royal chapel. The total floor surface of this immense complex is 2.5 hectares. About 800,000 liters of fuel oil are needed each year to heat the buildings. Argh, the complex can only be visited during a 2 week period in April till May each year, when most flowers are in full bloom.

We intent to pray at the green grass area in the above photo. But, somehow a strange feeling occurred after we saw a lady who walked her dog did it's poo business at some corner of the park. It gave us some curiosity and uneasy feeling whether the grass is good for us to lay our prayer mat. We inspected over and over again and finally decided to use the concrete floor at the monument instead. 

Despite of what happened, we had our moment of peace while offering prayer that day surrounded with a Godsend view, the views that we never have thought that we could be inside. Indeed, no words suffice to express our blessing to the Creator, who has firmed up the trip and save us both from any harm during 16 days of our trip.

Part of the Royal Park can be seen from an observatory deck at the Atomium, which we visited later on. Seeing the terraces, rows of lovely trees and the lake in below photo left an incomplete mission in my heart. Maybe there will be a come back to Brussels 1 day with my husband. If we did, I will definitely return in April or May, during spring time to visit both the Royal Palace and the Royal Greenhouse of Laeken. 

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