BRUSSELS – The Flowertime festival, which sees the Town Hall of Brussels from Wednesday decorated with 100,000 flowers, offers visitors a chance to get to know the building in all its splendor and at the same time see diverse floral arrangements designed by 30 international artists.
The festival, celebrated since 2013, takes place every two years, alternating with the traditional Flower Carpet that adorns the Grand Place in August.
The festival stems from tourists who visit the Belgian capital in summer wanting to see the huge floral arrangement, and according to one of Flowertime’s organizers, Karel Goethals, tourists ask why there is not a Flower Carpet on every year.
Goethals said the festival within the Town Hall offers visitors a chance to get to know the imposing building as well as appreciate the flowers.
“Even a lot of Brussels residents don’t know this building very well, and on the other hand we also have a magnificent flower exhibition,” he said.
The 15th Gothic building, which houses the Town Hall and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, becomes the main protagonist of the event.
The building will be open to the public for five days and visitors will get to see 13 of its rooms, including its entrance hall, passages and reception rooms, decorated with scores of floral arrangements.
While the setup is more or less the same as it was in 2017, “the artists they do something completely different and they have carte blanche inside the City Hall to do what they want,” said Goethals.
“A World of Floral Emotions” was the theme organizers selected for this year’s edition of the event because, according to Goethals: “Flowers are there at every important moment in our life and it’s also a very universal theme, linked to emotions.”
Over 30 international artists from 13 countries were involved in giving the Town Hall a floral makeover.
From China, Mexico, Indonesia, Romania or Portugal, the florists came up with arrangements that invoke scenes from their home countries, without neglecting the latest trends.
Among the artists invited to the festival to show his work was Javier Avila from Mexico, who was attending the event for the first time.
“I tried to reproduce a small part of a forest in Michoacan, where monarch butterflies migrate from Canada to Mexico. Over 4,000 kilometers to spend the winter and reproduce and return after spring,” he told EFE.
Through his piece, the artist shows the “intense journey” that the species undertakes, something he described as “emotional.”