Flower Carpet Celebrates EU Presidency

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Every two years an enormous flower carpet is laid across Brussels’ Grand Place for a few days over the middle weekend of August. Almost a million begonias are placed carefully in patterns and the display covers a total of 1,800 square metres. The first flower carpet was created in 1971, and has become a highly popular attraction with both locals and tourists.

Laid between the Hotel de Ville and the Maison du Roi or the Broodhuis the attraction draws thousands to the historic square to one of the most memorable landmark in Brussels, along with the Atomium and Manneken Pis.

The Grand PLace dates back almost a 1,000 years and was created not long after the city started to take shape. In the 10th century, Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine constructed a fort on Saint-Géry Island, the point at which the Senne river became navigable. By the end of the next century, an open-air marketplace had been set up on a dried-out marsh near the fort that was surrounded by sandbanks.

The market was known as the Nedermerckt, or Marche Bas and since grown into the square that we now know, which is a faithful reconstruction of the Medievel buildings destroyed by the French army on the orders of Louis XIV in 1695.