Virtual Visit: Royal Greenhouses Laeken

Nov 6, 2021

From Judy Riley, SGLH Trustee

While the glasshouses at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) remain closed, we thought you might enjoy a glimpse of some other glasshouses, in Brussels.

The Royal Greenhouses, by Alphonse Balat, the mentor of Victor Horta, were designed in 1873 for King Leopold II and built over the following thirty years in the park of the Royal Castle at Laeken.  They form a veritable city of glass and iron covering 2.5 hectares! Arcades, pavilions, cupolas and domes contain tropical, sub-tropical and cold greenhouses.  The planting reflects the taste prevailing in the late 19th century and many of the plants are from King Leopold’s original collection.  The world’s largest and oldest collection of camellias under glass can also be found here.

The greenhouses are open to the public but only for three weeks every year from Easter so if you pay a visit, you can expect long queues! For any wanting to plan a trip, we understand the greenhouses will be open 16 April – 6 May 2022!