Square Ambiorix – Parks in Brussels #1

By alison - June 3, 2009 (Updated: May 30, 2016)

Marie-Louise Square Brussels copyright ACM Photography

One of the things that really surprised me when I started to explore Brussels was how many beautiful green spaces exist in the city. In typical Belgian fashion, English information about many of these parks is scarce, so I thought I would start a series of my favourite green spaces here on CheeseWeb.

Right around the corner from our loft, is one of the prettiest parks in Brussels – Square Ambiorix. This is actually a series of small green spaces that are linked. It includes: Square Marie-Louise, Palmerston Avenue, Square Ambiorix and Square Marguerite.

Marie-Louise square surrounds a large pond with a huge fountain in the middle. The trail around the pond is shaded by enormous old trees, many of them droopy willows that offer shady nooks around the park. The pond is a paradise for ducks and other waterfowl. It can be surprising, but not uncommon, to see ducks flying around this area of the city. This park seems to be a haven for old men who can often be seen whiling away the hours chatting on one of the many benches.

Hotel Van Eetvelde Brussels copyright ACM Photography

Palmerston Avenue is a wide boulevard bordered by beautiful houses in the Art Nouveau style. Many of them are now used as embassies. One of the top sights is the Hotel Van Eetvelde, designed by Victor Horta, located at No. 4. In the middle of the Avenue is a well-tended lawn with flower beds, surrounded by hedges. There is also a small water feature.

Avenue Palmerston leads into the largest of the green spaces, Square Ambiorix. This square is a haven for the locals on a sunny day. Children flock to the playground, students read on the grass and elderly folks catch up on the weekly gossip on the shaded benches. There are always many dogs walking their owners by the old shade trees and many well-tended flower beds. At the top of the park sits another small water feature with a fountain.

The final section of the green space is Square Marguerite, which is a haven for the sports lover. Here you will find basketball hoops, soccer pitches and a small area for skate boarders. This narrow stretch of park seems to be busy rain or shine. Its shady trees keep the sun off of the players and spectators alike.
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Stay tuned for more green spaces of Brussels in future blog posts. If you haven’t already done so, you can subscribe to this blog to read in your favourite news reader.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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  1. Comment by expatraveler

    expatraveler June 3, 2009 at 15:33

    It looks so beautiful and such a great idea. I think Europeans enjoy the outdoors more than people in North America do, or at least it seems people get out to sit and relax in a park more often.

  2. Comment by Lydia

    Lydia June 5, 2009 at 12:46

    How lovely. It is on my list of places to explore once we move to Brussels in July. How lucky we are to live in such a fascinating country.

  3. Comment by Alison

    Alison June 5, 2009 at 12:59

    ET – I think Europeans tend to enjoy the outdoors where they live more often than N. American’s do.. ie city parks and so on. As Canadians we tend to think we have to drive somewhere to get to “the wilderness” instead of enjoying the green spaces all around us. Maybe we take the openness for granted?
    Lydia – Do you know where you are moving yet? There are many beautiful parks in the area πŸ™‚

  4. Comment by Lydia

    Lydia June 5, 2009 at 13:06

    Nice to meet you too Alison. Thank-you for the offer of help. We are moving to Avenue de la Porte de Hal (what a lovely name for a street) in Saint Gilles next month. Currently living in Leuven. Not looking forward to packing up everything again.

  5. Comment by Alison

    Alison June 5, 2009 at 13:16

    Ah we have friends right in that neighbourhood! We also go to the Saint Gilles market on Sundays. It’s a very multi-cultural and active area and you’re right beside the best bagels in Brussels :)I’m with you on the packing though… bleck!

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