Botanical Garden

A. de Ville de Goyet ©

Around 1829, architect Charles-Henri Petersen drew up plans for a botanical garden between the now-defunct city gates Porte de Schaerbeek/Schaarbeeksepoort and Porte de Cologne/Keulsepoort, covering what at that time was just a series of ponds, copses, fields and vegetable gardens. Expanded in 1842 and 1854, the park acquired a series of 52 sculptures produced between 1894 and 1898, as well as exotic plants, which were curiosities at a time when few people travelled very far. A popular place for a stroll, it also hosted one-off events, such as on 26 September 1864, when renowned photographer Nadar’s 40-metre-high hot-air balloon Le Géant (The Giant) took to the sky. Much later, the park was cut off by Boulevard Saint-Lazare/Sint-Lazaruslaan, and landscape architect René Pechère redesigned it for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Making the most of the steeply sloping terrain, he laid out a garden split into three terraces. In front of the greenhouses and orangery of the cultural centre stretches the French garden, compartmentalised and planted with flowering shrubs. The middle part, with its borders full of flowering plants, draws inspiration from Italian gardens. The third section at the bottom contains an English-style landscaped park, featuring winding paths, lawns bounded by shrubberies, and water features. Today, the gardens have become a favourite place to walk at the heart of the city, especially for people working in the many nearby offices. (Listed 15/05/1964)

Practical information

Rue Royale/Koningsstraat, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode/Sint-Joost-ten-Node
2 6 Botanique - Kruidtuin
92 93 Botanique - Kruidtuin
61 Botanique - Kruidtuin