I never realized Belgium had a Royal Family. We’re so obsessed with the British and OMG, what did Kate wear? It’s easy to forget we live in the land of kings and queens and dukes and duchesses.
Belgium is a constitutional monarchy, as is the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein…and Canada. What? Canada? Sometimes it surprises me how little we know about our neighbors to the north. Or any form of government other than democracy. Thanks, Texas public education system.
We visited the Royal Palace of Belgium in Brussels after the flower carpet. It’s only open to the public for about six weeks during the summer. And it’s FREE! I highly recommend it. It’s not Versailles, but in terms of geography and opulence, it’s close. I’d kill for just one of those chandeliers.
This year there is African art on display beneath the sea of chandeliers in the Throne Room and Grand Hall. And a nice reward the kiddos at the end—interactive physics displays in the Mirror Room.
Check out that green ceiling and chandelier in the Mirror Room. (Click to the end of the pics below.) Looks like Murano glass, right? Nope. It’s bugs. More specifically, the wing cases of 1.4 million Thai jewel beetles.
If you go: The Royal Palace is open until September 2 this year. It closes at 5 p.m.; last admission is at 4:30 p.m. I’d allow at least 45 minutes tho. The palace is just south of the park—about a 15 minute walk from Grand Place or easily accessible from Troon metro station. There’s a guide to the artwork, etc available at the entrance for a euro or two. You are permitted to take pictures, but only without flash, so go on a sunny day.
M O R E P H O T O S
From Royal Palace of Belgium. Shot August 14, 2012 in Brussels, Belgium