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When: August 2018
Where: The Grand Place Square, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
The Brussels Flower Carpet is a special event that takes place once every two years in Brussels, where the Grand Place Square is transformed into a mass of colour. The flowering star of the Brussels Flower Carpet is the begonia and 300 of these beautiful flowers are used for every square metre of this floral masterpiece.
Belgium is one of the lead producers of the begonia cultivating 60 million every year and this is why it is the flower of choice for the Brussels Flower Carpet. The begonia is also known for its robustness and ability to survive during bad weather, meaning that the Flower Carpet will look as fresh as it did when the first begonia was planted! Another reason for the begonia being chosen is because there are different varieties meaning that the Flower Carpet remains vibrant with vivid colour mixed with delicate pastel shades.
The Brussels Flower Carpet was first created in its current form in 1971 by a landscape artist called E Stautemans who liked to experiment with creating small rugs that were constructed mainly out of begonias. He soon realised that the floral carpets would be a great avenue for promoting his love for begonias and soon his masterpieces became famous throughout Belgium and the rest of the world. The largest carpet created was in Sint-Pietersplein (Ghent) during 1973, measuring 164 x 42m. Although he enjoyed creating floral carpets for destinations across the world, he believes that 'nowhere is the carpet more beautiful than when it is in the Grand Place of Brussels.'
Months of planning go into creating the Brussels Flower Carpet where numbers are calculated and the theme for the year is decided. The outline of the carpet is then drawn upon the ground and with the help of hundreds of volunteer gardeners, the planting of the begonias begins with the floral jigsaw taking just under four hours to finish. In between the begonias, turf is placed which during hot weather needs watering frequently to prevent it from shrinking.
The Brussels Flower Carpet is only available to view for four days during August and it is advisable to visit in the early morning because it can get quite crowded as the day goes on. To see an alternative view of the Flower Carpet, pay a small entrance fee (approximately 5 Euros) and climb up to the balcony of the Town Hall where you will be able to see the colourful floral patterns from above – just don't forget your camera!
Tour packages to visit the Brussels Flower Carpet start from £169 per person and tend to include: return coach travel, comfortable hotel, bed and continental breakfast, coach transfers to the Grand Place viewing area and an included excursion to another place of interest.
Previous themes for the Flower Carpet:
2012: The African continent
2014: Turkish Immigration to Belgium
2016: Belgo-Japanese Friendship
Address: The Grand Place Square, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
How to get there: All coach packages to will include transfers to the Brussels Flower Carpet. However, should you wish to make your own way, the Grand Place is located to the west of Brussels Park and can be accessed via alleyways located just off the main streets of Rue Marche aux Herbes, Rue de Midi and Rue du Lombard. You can access the Town Hall via the alleyways of Rue au Beurre or Rue des Chapeliers. The Grand Place is easily accessible via the following Metro stops: Centrale, Bourse and De Broukere.