Around Belgium | Domaine de Mariemont
Even though I am wandering through the Ukrainian Carpathians at the moment, I have not forgotten you, dear readers. If all goes according to our nearly nonexistent plan, the next few days will be spent hiking through bucolic villages, taking in the mountain scenery and hopefully eating well.
This photo was taken just a couple weeks ago back in Belgium, in the midst of a very welcome heat wave. It got all the way up to 30 C (86 F)! While everyone else was at the seaside, we took a walk in the Domaine de Mariemont, near Binche. The Domaine consists of a 45-hectare park with shady pathways, an arboretum, statues by Rodin and other renowned sculptors, and the remains of the castle of Charles of Lorraine. Inside the park walls you will also find the Musée Royal de Marimont which houses a large collection of Tournai porcelain, as well as an extensive collection of Eastern art, complete with an actual (functioning) Japanese teahouse. The park, which has been around hundreds of years longer than Belgium itself, is reason alone to visit the Domaine. I was amazed at the masses of rhododendrons in every color, the beautiful cedar, chestnut and beech trees and this unidentified flowering tree (pictured above).
Since its creation by Mary of Hungary, the Domaine changed hands quite a few times, with royals modifying the grounds to suit their personal taste. Its long history is reflected in the many different styles and themes seem throughout the grounds.
For more information, visit Musée Royal de Marimont.