“ Have you ever visited Brussels to see the world famous Flower Carpet? If so, please feel free to share your experience right here! When were you there and how did it compare to other years? We would love to hear from you!! „
Brussels Flower Carpet -
I am living in Belgium at the moment, specifically in Brussels, and although there are many places to visit in this lovely city, going to see the Brussels Flower Carpet was something that I had been looking forward to immensely since I found out about it. And it just so happened that my mum and her friend were visiting me this weekend so I was able to enjoy this experience with them.
What is the Brussels Flower Carpet? Every two years, Brussel's Grand Place, already one of the world's most beautiful squares, swaps its cobbles for a spectacular carpet of multi-coloured flowers. The intricate designs (made from around 800,000 fresh begonias over 300 square metres) often include scenes from Belgian folklore and myth.
When I first read about the Brussels Flower Carpet, I was unsure what to expect so I asked a few of my colleagues about it. From what they fed back, I was left thinking, wow, that sounds pretty impressive, I must make sure that I am in Brussels that weekend to witness it. The flower carpet itself was lots of beautiful reds, yellows, oranges and greens. In the centre of the flower patterns was a gorgeous water fountain which was the perfect size to add something to the carpet without taking something away and causing it to be a distraction. Instead it is simply a gorgeous added feature.
When talking to one of the gardeners involved in the flower carpet they explained how the making of the carpet had a great deal of planning that went into it well in advance which consisted of numerous different stages. It actually starts a year before the event itself. I was quite surprised by this although as it is so complex, I'm not sure why. I guess I didn't really expect so much hard work go into its preparations.
When the gardeners are planning the carpet, they first come up with the theme, representation and symbol. From that, they then work out the number of flowers and colour combinations. To get this amazing piece of art, there is a lot of work put in by hundreds of experienced gardeners.
The Thursday before, the spaces between the floral patterns will already have been filled with rolled turf. This allows the gardeners to put together this floral masterpiece in under 4 hours. How impressive is that? Especially when you consider that the flowers are packed together one by one with 300 to every square meter of the ground. They are packed together so tightly so that they won't be blown away by strong winds.
Where is the Brussels Flower Carpet? You can find the Brussels Flower Carpet at the Grand Place in the centre of Brussels. If you are in the Grand Place area, it will be incredibly hard to miss but if you don't know where you are going in Brussels then you simply need to hop of the Metro and get off at either the Gare Centrale or Bourse stop, both of which are very close, less than 5 minutes walk by foot.
What are the attraction times? The Brussels Flower Carpet is there to view all day long for the time that it is in place however there are only certain times each night when a sound and light show is put on. These are at 10pm, 10.30pm and 11pm. At these times you can witness music and a nocturnal rainbow of colour. I didn't manage to see this but a few of my friends did and they had only positive things to say. Personally, I think I saw a beautiful enough scene, not to make me feel like I had missed out a great deal.
How long does it last? The Brussels Flower Carpet is in place for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you have enough time to go along and check it out. My advice would be to go and see it on the day which has the best weather planned as it looks beautiful in the sunshine. I have seen it in both the rain and sunshine and when heavy rain has been lashing away at it, the carpet doesn't look quite as beautiful. Alternatively, if you don't trust the weatherman to get it right, l would recommend visiting it on the Sunday as in Belgium, unlike in the UK, the shops are not open on a Sunday. Therefore instead of racking your brains for things to do and places to see, you can go shopping on the Saturday and see this beautiful spectacle on the Sunday.
How much does this attraction cost? Do you know what the beauty of the Brussels Flower Carpet is? That it costs you absolutely nothing to witness its exquisiteness. Excellent news, don't you think? It isn't often that you get something for nothing now. Due to the fact that it doesn't cost anything, it does get very, very busy. Not so busy that the space is overly crowded but it does get quite noisy. My advice is to get to the Grand Place quite early. See the gorgeous flowers in peace and quiet. There really is nothing quite like it. And whilst it is quiet you can chat to the florists that are standing around the edges.
So I said the Brussels Flower Carpet doesn't cost anything and this is true however you can pay for a better view. From the balcony of the town hall at the Grand Place, you can witness the carpet with the best view for just 3 euros. You can do this from 9am until 11pm. The queue was huge and I had visitors over on this weekend with lots of places to in Belgium that they wanted to see. It is a sensational sight, and from what I am told, especially when seen from the Town Hall's balcony however I didn't actually see this view for myself. Next time maybe.
The Brussels Flower Carpet is certainly something that I would recommend that you see, should you be in Brussels during the time that it is being held, which unfortunately is only for 3 days every two years. You will regret it otherwise believe me! I regret not going up to the balcony to have a look and take some photographs but at least I saw how beautiful it is with my own eyes. The design of the carpet was sensational, the colours of the flowers bright and beautiful and the atmosphere in the Grand Place whilst the Brussels Flower carpet was on was somehow automatically more cheerful simply because of the beauty in the centre.