Bois de la Cambre

The Bois de la Cambre (French) or Ter Kamerenbos (Dutch) is an urban public park on the edge of the Sonian Forest in Brussels, Belgium. The park lies in the south of the Brussels-Capital Region, and in the municipality of the City of Brussels and covers an area of 1.23 square kilometres (0.47 square miles). It is linked to the rest of the municipality by Avenue Louise/Louizalaan, which was built in 1861, at the same time the park was laid out.

Bois de la Cambre
Bois de la Cambre  (French)
Ter Kamerenbos  (Dutch)
The Bois de la Cambre and its lake
TypePublic park
LocationCity of Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
Coordinates50°48′11″N 4°22′52″E
Area122.34 ha (302.3 acres)[1]
Created1866

The park comprises a small lake with an island in the centre, called Robinson's Island.[2] Its water is polluted with cyanobacteria and signs are posted at regular intervals, warning of a risk of botulism.

History

The park was laid out in 1861 by Édouard Keilig, a German architect. The place quickly became a popular recreational area for the people of Brussels, comparable to the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. In addition to its many promenades, it hosted a dairy, a velodrome, a theatre, an artificial boating lake, as well as a racecourse. Queen Marie-Henriette, wife of King Leopold II, often went riding in the park. The horsemans' battle bronze group at the entrance is the work of Belgian sculptor Jacques de Lalaing.

On 17 June 1815, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, English soldiers played a cricket match on a ground located in the area currently covered by the park. Ever since, this area has been called la Pelouse des Anglais ("The Englishmen's Lawn"), although few are aware of the name. In 1965, the then British Ambassador in Belgium planted an oak tree and unveiled a bronze plaque to commemorate the 150th anniversary of this sporting and historical event.

In 1877, the Chalet Robinson was built on the lake's island. The chalet was destroyed by a fire in 1991. The decision was made in 2006 to rebuild it and it reopened to the public in September 2009. The surface of the wooden building is approximately 300 m2 (3,200 sq ft), with a restaurant on the ground floor and a ballroom on the first floor. An electrical ferry boat links the island to the shores of the lake.

The main road around the lake has been closed to traffic on Saturdays and Sundays since the 1990s.

See also

References

  1. "Bois de la Cambre". Bruxelles Environnement (in French). 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  2. Recalling The Swiss Family Robinson, first published in 1812.
  3. The text reads: On this field, since called "Pelouse des Anglais" a cricket match was played on the eve of battle by members of British regiments which fought at Waterloo. 1815-1965. On the 150th anniversary HBM Ambassador to Belgium Sir Roderick Barclay KCMG KCVO planted this tree 18 VI 1815.

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