25 Nov 2014


Brussels traditional Christmas tree has arrived from Latvia this year on the Grand Place on Thursday around 3:00 am.

picture from Internet

It was raised by a crane and placed in one of the three 2 m deep wells beneath the cobblestones of the Grand'Place.  It was finally standing around 8 am .

picture from internet

The tree is  18.3 meters (59 ft)  high and was chosen by the Mayor of Riga. It had been cut last Friday in Latvian forests and left Latvia on Saturday to be transported over 2000 km (1243 miles) by water to the port of Travemünde in Germany and from there with a special convoy to Antwerp and then to Brussels.

Usually the Brussels' Christmas trees come from the Walloon Region, but this year, the city of Riga was the "European Capital of Culture 2014", and therefore wanted to offer a Christmas tree to the capital of Europe. "It's a wonderful symbol for Latvia to close this year of European culture with a Christmas tree in Brussels" the mayor said.

The tree will be decorated with silver symbols created by a decorator of Latvia as cultural heritage of this country.

Some 7,000 twinkling lights and 10,000 white lights will be installed on the tree.

Of course this made me curious and I went there on Saturday afternoon to see this event "life"

The place was packed with people who had the same idea as I !

Not so easy to decorate a Christmas tree of this height !

At the same time the crèche was built

The firs lay packed on the ground they will be put around the creche and carpenters covered the roof with straw.

One side was almost finished.

Leaving the Grand'Place I saw Christmas decorations already hanging a little everywhere

and over the streets

Just outside the place was a little market with handmade things, ideal to find an original Christmas gift.

At least this year we will have a beautiful Christmas tree, which will attract lots of tourists. The official opening is next weekend on November 28. (here is a link to the Christmas market 2010)

The Christmas tree in 2012 was a strange thing made out of boxes (Christmas tree 2012) It caused almost riots ! There were so many protests not only from the Belgians but also from other countries that the city decided to dismantle this thing before New Years Eve, there had been threats to burn that thing down ! People wanted a classical Christmas tree and not a modern monster. I wrote about it here : The End of the Christmas tree 2012

more participants here


ladyfi said...

How exciting to see the tree going up.

Fun60 said...

I am so delighted that the people of Brussels made it known they like a traditional tree. Once all those lights are on it will look beautiful although I'm not so sure about the large city name of Riga as a Xmas decoration.

Andrew said...

Melbourne has had some horrible Christmas trees too. The present one is not too bad. Good to see some blue skies over you. Something I have never thought about but after seeing the sign on the building, is the written language of Belgium French? For us a creche is a child care place where parents put their children while they are at work.

eileeninmd said...

It is a beautiful tree for in front of the palace. I do not like the modern looking tree either.. Thank you for sharing some of Brussels.. Have a happy week!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina .. I think I agree about the 2012 tree - not the brightest idea yet.

However the Latvian tree looks amazing and I know our Trafalgar Square tree always comes from Norway ..

It'll be interesting to see it fully decorated .. cheers Hilary

lotusleaf said...

That was a great feat!

Loree said...

What a beautiful tree. Such a nice gesture from Latvia.

Norma Ruttan said...

I like knowing that other countries also have the tradition of a Christmas tree in the main city. Your tree last year made an interesting art statement, but it cannot compare to the beauty of a tree from nature.

A Lady's Life said...

I guess you were not the oly one who thought it was an eye sore. lol
Your streets look so nice and the tree is beautiful.

pattisjarrett said...

The tree is lovely--and huge! I'm glad they got a "real" tree this year. So glad you went to check it out, and shared it with us.