Parc de Bruxelles/Park van Brussel
   The Parc de Bruxelles (Parc royal de Bruxelles), whose central axis runs in a direct line from the Palais de la Nation to the Palais Royal, is the most prominent green space in the Royal district of the upper town. Its origins date from the 14th century, when Duke John III purchased the land and surrounded it with walls to create a private ducal retreat. Philip the Good stocked the space with game. Jousting tournaments were performed. Charles V enlarged the park and installed statues, grottoes, and fountains that, as the Warande, made it famous throughout Europe. Left derelict following the fire that destroyed the Coudenberg Palace in 1731, the park was redesigned first by Joachim Zimmer, an Austrian who served as gardener to the court, who was soon assisted by French architect Barnabé Guimard (1731-1805). Commissioned by Empress Maria Theresa, they laid out a rectangular, formal park in the French style, which constituted a model of geometric precision. The park opened in 1780. Statuary and grounds were heavily damaged by rampaging French revolutionary troops in 1795. Restoration took place in 1797.
   In September 1830, during the Belgian Revolution, Dutch troops established a defensive base in the park from which they were driven out by Belgian patriots. Alterations were made following extensions to the place des Palais in 1904. The park covers an area of 72 ha (178 acres).
   The bandstand in the center of the park dates from 1841, designed by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar (1811-1880). Around its roof are inscribed the names of 12 musicians: Adam, Auber, Bellini, Busnois, Carafa, Halévy, Herid, Méhul, Mozart, Philippe, Reding, and Rossini.
   Residents rang in the 21st century here in attending gala festivities on 1 January 2000.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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