Grand Place Flower Carpet 2008

A Brussels tradition since the 1970's, the flower carpet is now put on every other year in August.  It covers 1800 square meters of space and each square meter of space is filled with over 300 begonias (and nothing but begonias, no dirt or anything!) - I read somewhere that this year's carpet has over 700,000 begonias in it!

Begonias are a product of Belgium, which produces around 60 million of them each year (80% for export).

Each time a carpet is created, it comes from a theme - this year's theme is the World's Largest Savonnerie Carpet (designed based on the carpets made in the Savonnerie workshop founded by King Louis XIII of France in 1627).  The French carpets were styled with floral and plant patterns mixed with royal and religious symbols.  It takes over a year to design and lay out the plans for each carpet...










Trying to get a picture of the whole thing at once was not possible with my camera, so here it is pieced together!  You get the idea of how big it is and all the colors!

Alex, Amanda, Casey

Alex thought we should have a picture of just the girls, so here's Sonya, Casey, and Amanda

300 per square meter??  How do they fit that many in there??!!

You can go up on the balcony of the Hotel de Ville to see the Flower Carpet from up high and really take it all in, so we went up to get the best view!

The carpet and the Maison du Roi

Close-ups of the centers

This is a symbol of the Brussels Capital Region

The Hotel de Ville

No trip downtown is complete without going to see what the Mannequin Pis is wearing that day - today he was naked!!  Considering he has over 700 costumes you'd think he'd be wearing one of them...

No trip downtown is complete without stopping for delicious Belgian frites either!  Casey, Alex, and Amanda enjoy theirs in the small park in front of St. Michael's Cathedral.