Brussels Flower Carpet

August 8, 2016

The bi-annual Flower Carpet makes its return to Brussels Grand-Place this weekend from 12th – 15th August, but this time it’s an extra special occasion as it’s the 20th Anniversary of the stunning floral display.


The first flower carpet was created by landscape architect Etienne Stautemas, who had studied at the Horticultural College of Ghent. It was his unique skills, and passion for Begonias that resulted in the creation of flower carpets all across Europe. He worked with designer Mark Schautteet to develop the intricate and detailed creations in Ghent, Bruges, Paris, London, Amsterdam and many more. The first Brussels Flower Carpet was created back in 1971, but it wasn’t until 1986 that the beautiful spectacle became a regular event on the Brussels calendar, looked forward to by locals and tourists alike when it returns every 2 years.

Brussels Flower Carpet

As is tradition, the carpet is given a carefully selected theme that usually coincides with an event, anniversary or a place, and this year is no different. The Tapis de Fleurs association, a committee of designers, illustrators and landscape artists have decided that to celebrate 150 years of friendly relations between Belgium and Japan, the carpet for 2016 will be adorning a Japanese design and colours.

In the run up to this weekend, the various colours and flower varieties will have been calculated, cut, and preserved, and the full scale drawing will be printed onto the perforated plastic that fills Grand-Place floor. Over 100 volunteers will then fill the 75 metre long, 24 metre wide plastic with beautifully scented blooms in less than four hours.

That’s approximately 1,800 m2 of over 600,000 begonias, packed so closely together that they can’t be blown away. If the weather is particularly warm, the rolls of sod that are placed between each motif are watered to keep the flowers fresh and blooming.

Grand Place

While the flower carpet itself is a show stopping spectacle, it is impossible not to appreciate the setting in the heart of the city. Brussels Grand-Place, one of the most famous in the world is surrounded by impressive, magnificent architecture, and has therefore earned itself the UNESCO World Heritage site title.

The perfect setting is only enhanced by the musical performances that ring out across the square on the evenings of the Flower Carpet weekend. The music coincides with the theme, and is therefore unique to each carpet, and is combined with a light show that dances across the display.

To complete this beautiful scene, why not visit the Town Hall balcony, which offers the best view of the carpet, and of the entire gothic square. A ticket to the balcony will cost you a small amount, of approximately 5 euros, but you can wander at floor level for free to see the intricate design up close.


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