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Situated on the Place des Palais, the Royal Palace is the king’s administrative center. The official residence of the king and the royal family is situated in Laeken, which is also famous for the Royal Greenhouses that open to the public once a year. The palace in the center of Brussels is where the King carries out his duties as Head of State, welcoming representatives of the political institutions, foreign visitors and other guests.
The palace was built on the foundations of the court of the dukes of Brabant and Emperor Charles V. This building was called the Coudenberg palace and was destroyed by a fire in 1731. The reconstruction of the new palace started in 1820 under king Willem I, and modifications in Louis XIV style were made in 1904 under Leopold II. There are two pavilions adjacent to the side wings. On the left that of the Civil List and on the right the Hotel Bellevue which is currently the BELvue museum documenting Belgian history.
Every year in Summer, the royal palace opens up to the public (for free!) This is the occasion to walk through the palace and explore its majestic halls like the Blue Room, the Louis XVI Music Salon, the Goya Room and more. In the Mirror Room you have to look up to the ceiling which is made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases. The throne room looks impressive too with its high ceilings, mosaic floor and sumptuous chandeliers. There’s so much to marvel at, so try to plan your visit according to its opening times. The exact dates are announced on the website of the Belgian Monarchy. After visiting the Royal Palace, walk back to the city center or have a break in the Royal Park located right across the street. This park, shortlisted as one of the best parks to picnic in Brussels, is a beautiful park with several gems to explore.
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