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Tree-Walk through Leopold's Park

An oasis of calm in a busy district

Leopold’s Park

A little history: Flashback

>>> To reach the starting point of the walk, go to the small entrance of Leopold Park. It is located on rue Vautier, between the European Parliament and the Museum of Natural Sciences. You take a paved path. It turns into a narrow sandy path. And you pass through a small tunnel of greenery in spring, or of branches in winter. It is formed by two hedges, and the crown of a strange tree on your right.

  • Navigation tip: each dot to the left of a title corresponds to a dot on the map. Click on them to find your way around more easily.
"The octopus"
Common horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
In the vicinity of the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences of Belgium, Rue Vautier, 31 - Brussels

>>> Take a look over the fence on your left. There stands the largest Siberian Elm in the Region. The "zelkovas" of this size can be counted on the fingers of your hand. This tree belongs to a species rarely planted in Brussels. It recalls the Park's past as a zoo. (If the fence is opened, it is worth taking a small step closer to the tree, very carefully, to avoid compacting the ground or trampling on its roots.)

" Zoo Memory "
Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata)
Near Leopold's Park, Dichtbij het Leopoldpark, Rue Vautierstraat, 31 / Rue Vautier, 31 - Brussels

>>> Continue on your way and enter the park. Cross the alley and pass under the trees in front of you. Your gaze embraces the entire park. On the slope, to your right, a gigantic tree, the tallest of all, attracts your attention. It is an Oriental plane tree, one of the pillars of Wood Wide Web.

"De metropolis tree"
Oriental plane tree (Platanus orientalis)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> Once you have gone around this green giant, you see some stairs on your right. Take the paved track which rises slightly through the park. You pass in front of a bench and a small gully (full of water in summer). A little further on your right, 3 large trees await you in the middle of the sloping grass. The largest of them, in the background, is a tulip tree.

"The tree wearing tulips"
Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> Go down the slope towards the pond. But not too fast ;) You pass by a chestnut tree. It's worth stopping by.

Sweet chestnut, Spanish chestnut
Sweet chestnut, Spanish chestnut (Castanea sativa)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> Continue your descent towards the edge of the pond. Mind the gap when crossing the small stream. In front of you, slightly to your right is a bald cypress tree. It is green in spring and summer, naked in winter.

"The flamboyant" (4)
Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> Slowly walk along the pond (it is on your right). A group of trees awaits you at the fork of the road. On the way you can observe a young european hornbean. Its branches are low, which allows you to take a close look at its leaves and fruit.

In front of you, like a switcher, stands a common horse chestnut tree at the fork of the road. It is of the same species as the chestnut tree that opened this walk: the famous "Poulpe". Its bark, leaves, flowers or fruit are identical. But its appearance is different: its silhouette is slenderer. At the bottom of the hill, it had to rise to seek light.

Common horse chestnut
Common horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> Take the track which rises to the left. A ginkgo biloba awaits you just before the entrance to the "Lycée Emile Jacqmain".

"High School Guardian"
Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> Keep going straight ahead. Walk past the Lycée Jacqmain. Then follow the way along the lawn to your right. The path goes down to one of the park's entrances (rue Belliard / Belliardstraat). This main gate is framed by two small pavilions that interact with two maples.

Sycamore maple, Great maple, Plane tree
Sycamore maple, Great maple, Plane tree (Acer pseudoplatanus)
Parc Léopold - Brussels

*This is where this tree-lined walk could end. *

>>> However, if you wish, you can continue to walk a little along the pond, up to the gate of the Place Jourdan. On the way you meet several remarkable trees.

A few steps from the maple tree, there is first a small group of four aligned ginkgos. Do you recognize them? Try to find them and compare them to the Lycée's ginkgo ;)

And then there is a group of bald cypresses awaiting you at the water's edge. These specimens are particularly attractive in the fall.

A few steps from the maple tree, there is first a small group of four aligned ginkgos. Do you recognize them? Try to find them and compare them to the Lycée's ginkgo ;)

And then there is a group of bald cypresses awaits you at the water's edge. These specimens are particularly attractive in the fall.

"The flamboyant" (2)
Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> A few meters further on, you pass under the foliage of a golden weeping willow.

Then you can observe a new bald cypress and its reddish leaves in the fall here.

You walk along the pond until you reach a fork. Take the path on your left towards the exit of the park. You pass under two magnificent European horbeams.

Common / European hornbeam
Common / European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
Leopold Park - Brussels

>>> This green tunnel under the European hornbeams takes you back to the hectic life of the neighborhood. Unless you prefer to enjoy the park a little longer? It's up to you ;)

THE END

dev & design : a.-c.