Saturday, October 24, 2009

Palais d’Egmont

THE PALAIS d’Egmont (also known as the Palais d’Arenberg) was originally built in the mid-16th century for Françoise of Luxembourg, mother of the 16th-century leader of the city’s rebels, Count Egmont. This palace has twice been rebuilt, in 1750 and again in 1891, following a fire. Today it belongs to the Belgian Foreign Ministry. It was here that Great Britain, Denmark and Ireland signed as members of the EEC in 1972. Though the palace itself is closed to the public, the gardens, whose entrances are on the Rue du Grand Cerf and the Boulevard de Waterloo, are open. There is a statue of Peter Pan, a copy of one found in Kensington Gardens, in London. Many of the gardens’ buildings are now run down, and plans have started to restore the ancient orangery and the disused ice house.