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the postcard view

The ROYAL GARDENS....During the 19th century, new techniques with the use of metal and glass allowed architects new freedom in their designs. Around the same time that Paris was building the Eiffel Tower, King Leopold II began construction of the Greenhouses of Laeken. The first greenhouse, the Winter Garden, was designed and built by architect Alphonse Balat between 1874 and 1876. The Winter Garden was designed to be tall enough to house palm trees. The structure is designed with a ring of stone columns which support an intricate iron framework. And, that iron is a masterpiece of Art Nouveau beauty. No wonder this complex took thirty years to complete! The complex with enormous pavillions, glass cupolas, and wide covered arcades has been called the "Ideal Glass Palace".

The greenhouses are lovely just as they are. But, then there is the peaceful garden setting around the royal palace and the flowers. With so many flowers inside and outside the greenhouses, it is color overload.


inside view of the Winter Gardens
Art Nouveau iron work
Copyright 2007 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.