Bedazzling Belgium: Of royal palaces and bizarre buildings (Part 4)

Woot! It’s Maerose again. Yay! Two entries in a week? Hurrah for that! I’ve got a couple of hours free tonight, so I’m posting the next leg of my tour in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The city is dubbed as the capital of Europe and the comic city. If you missed the first three parts of the trip: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. I wrote about my very kind Dutch host, Jos, and the walking tour that led us to the Mannekin Pis, the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, and the Belgian Beer Weekend. This entry is a continuation of the walking tour. 😉

Hello Brussels!
Hello Brussels!
Walking tour in Brussels
Walking tour in Brussels
Posing with a street performer
Posing with a street performer

Two of the most famous landmarks in Brussels are the Royal Palace and the Atomium. My friend and I came across other attractions, but we spent more or less time / photo ops in those two. The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official residence of the King and Queen, although they don’t really live in the said place. I was really awed by the giant and extravagant chandeliers dotting the ceiling of the palace!

The Royal Palace interior
The Royal Palace interior
The Royal Palace interior
The Royal Palace interior
The Royal Palace interior
The Royal Palace interior

The palace has a really complex history, so if you want to learn more, visit: The Royal Palace of Brussels. Just like the other structures in the city, it has undergone many renovations throughout the ages. Extensions were made, and they started to open the royal collections and exhibitions to the public. In fact, they were holding a Draaiende Kunst workshop, or rotating art workshop, when we visited.

Art workshop in the palace
Art workshop in the palace
Art workshop in the palace
Art workshop in the palace

More information about visiting the Royal Palace here. Take note, the palace is only open for tours in summer. 🙂 Just outside is a beautiful garden called the Brussels Park, and a long square called the Place des Palais. 

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The park is really big, comparable to the royal garden in Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark, I think. Anyway, we walked further along until we reached the Place Royal, or the Royal Square. It originally stood as a marketplace, but caught fire in the 1700s. Reconstructions were made, and it will undergo renovations again next year (2017), according to sources. The square is fronted by the Church of St. Jacques-sur-Coudenberg.

At the Royal Square, with the Church of St. Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in the background
At the Royal Square, with the Church of St. Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in the background

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It was getting late and we were tired that day, but we just couldn’t miss one of Belgium’s most famous landmarks – the Atomium. It is named “Europe’s most bizarre building” by CNN due to the fact that it is the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times! So, we tried to look for it, but it turned out it was nowhere near the city center. So we took the train and voila! The Atomium stood from afar, yes, but still, we enjoyed admiring it and taking pictures with it in the background. Btw, the Atomium is a museum, designed by engineer Andre Waterkeyn and architects Andre and Jean Polak for the 1958 Brussels World Fair.

The Atomium from afar
The Atomium from afar
My friend Jos and I with the Atomium in the background
My friend Jos and I with the Atomium in the background
At the Atomium parking lot
At the Atomium parking lot
The Atomium
The Atomium

I really enjoyed the tour to the elegant city of Brussels! (thanks to my host!) I have one more Belgian experience to write about, and then I’m moving on to yet another country. Up next, one of the reasons why Brussels is “the comic city”! 😉

It’s spring in Norway, it’s warm (19 degrees Celsius as of writing), and tomorrow is Friday! The 13th! It’s time to celebrate the passing of yet another romantic month with my partner-in-crime! haha #spreadlove

See yeah! ❤

The Atomium
The Atomium

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