Hidden Belgium: A secret Japanese garden

Hidden Belgium: A secret Japanese garden

Almost no one notices the little gate opposite the abandoned swimming pool in Ostend.

It leads into a walled garden created for King Léopold II in 1903 by the French landscape architect Elie Laine. It is now an overgrown site with stone vases and four cast iron statues copied from originals in the gardens of Versailles.

But there is a further mystery hidden behind a white wall in the middle of the garden. Here you find a tiny Japanese garden laid out in 2001 on the site of a pool. Open at weekends in the summer.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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