Home to rare varieties of palm, azaleas and geraniums, The Royal Greenhouses at Laeken are a plant lovers delight, but a visit here should be on every architectural fan’s bucket list too.
During the 19th century, progress in construction techniques, especially the use of metal and glass, made a new type of building possible: the greenhouse. One of the architects to make full use of these developments was Alphonse Balat who, in 1873, designed a complex of greenhouses for the Belgian king Leopold II to complement his castle at Laeken. Balat’s glittering glass city of monumental pavilions, glass cupolas and wide arcades left an architectural legacy that spread across the world in the shape of Art Nouveau.
Visit the Royal Greenhouses Laeken on our Spring weekend tour to Belgium. Find out more here