Parc de Bruxelles

Parc de Bruxelles (22)

Even though Brussels has more green spaces than most of Europe’s other capitals, it is a fact that the parks you will find in the city centre are rather small. They are, nonetheless, very well looked after and peaceful. Of all the parks, Parc de Bruxelles is indeed one of the prettiest and largest.

The origins of the site date back to the fourteenth century, when Duke John III bought this land to build a private garden here. Later, in the sixteenth century, it was turned into a hunting ground and even became famous throughout Europe for its summer tournaments in which deer and wild boar were hunted.

In the early eighteenth century, however, the park was progressively abandoned until in 1776 the empress Maria Theresa decided to build a French garden here. The project was commissioned to Bernabé Guimard and Joachim Zinner, who designed this 13-hectare green space and filled it with statues and avenues with beautiful fountains.

You will notice that the current park has three entrances opposite the Royal Palace, all of which are decorated with sculpture groups. Of note, moreover, on the interior of the gardens is the grotto, where you will find statues such as the remarkable “Lion”, one of the paws of which is supported on a sphere, and the “Girl with the shell”, from which water used to pour. 

Pay attention also to the small bandstand and the Théâtre Royal du Parc, two interesting constructions you may enjoy if you take a short walk around. Do not forget, either, that if you intend to visit the important buildings that surround the park, outstanding among which are the previously-mentioned Royal Palace, the Parc de Bruxelles is a good place to take a short rest and get your strength back. 

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