Royal Palace of Brussels
If you are in Brussels by the end of July till end of August, you can visit the Royal Palace of Brussels which is the current King’s administrative residence and main workplace. There is a tradition since 1965 to open the gates of the palace for the public after the national holiday of 21 July. The Palace is a magnificent structure and because the King works here daily with his staff, the place is filled with the essence of royalty. The King and Queen do not live here, they actually live at the Palace of Laeken which is located at the outskirts of Brussels.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and hence the major affairs of the country are discussed at the Royal Palace of Brussels. Everyday there are many visits by the representatives of political institutions. Many ambassadors and foreign guests also visit the palace regularly. The King, Queen and other members of the royal family also have their offices and staff in this very same palace. The palace hosts many work meetings, roundtables, concerts lunches and receptions and has many prestigious rooms to serve the associated purpose.
History of Royal Palace of Brussels
Initially Coudenberg Palace was the representative palace of the Monarch. Coundeberg Palace was built somewhere in 12th century and served as the seat of government for 700 years. The beautiful building was destroyed by fire in 1731. Some of the remains are restored and opened for public. The old palace is now one of the many amazing Brussels Museums.
The initial plans for the Royal Palace of Brussels were created by the end of 18th century and the construction work started after the 19th century by King Leopold II. The Magnificent Interior of the palace was designed by Alphonse Balat.
Interior of Royal Palace of Brussels
Main Stairway and Lobby
The vast staircase is decorated with white marble and the ramp with green marble. The marble Minerva, splendid windows and mirror all add to the beauty of the Palace.
The wall paintings and contours of the large Anti-Chambers are witness to the history. The room depicts the history when North and South of the Netherlands were united into one kingdom after the Battle of Waterloo.
Once the ballroom for the Austrian imperial representative, the Empire Room is located at the oldest part of the Palace. The female figures that are above the mirror are designed by Jean-louis Van Geel and date back to the reign of William I. A special rug is placed in the center of the room on special occasions only. This rug was gifted to King Leopold II by Muzaffar al Din Shah of Persia.
A very interesting Flower work called “Les Fleurs du Palais Royal” designed by Patrick Corillon in 2004 is worth mentioning. These are 11 flowerpots which have soil from each of the country’s province and the city of Brussels as well. These flowers are the symbols of Belgian provinces and each pot is representing a story about these flowers. This room is still in use for the ceremonies and concerts.
The other notable rooms in the Palace are the Throne Room, Marble room, Mirror room, Thinker room, Goya room, Coburg room, Pilaster room, Marshal room and louis XVI room. The Large Gallery is an ideal place for hosting state dinners and receptions.