Brussels’ Flowercarpet !
14 August 2014
Manufacturing of the flower carpet : 12 to 7 pm - Opening night : 10pm
15 – 17 August 2014,
every day from 9 am till 11 pm
Every evening at 10.00 pm, 10.30 pm - and 11.00 pm: sound and light.
Flower Carpet 2014
“The Flower Carpet that is unfurled every other year on the Grand-Place of Brussels always
fills me with great emotion! Because of its colours and the extraordinary design of the
original carpet that is its basis, of course, but also and especially because of the renown of
this work – ephemeral but so admired – throughout the world. Allow me here to thank the
creator of the graphic design, the horticulturists, the numerous artists and artisans who
have participated in this new edition, and all the volunteers, veritable magicians who for two
days have patiently placed the hundreds of thousands of flowers that make up this
masterpiece. To the delight of all those who will come to discover it. Welcome, everyone, to
the Grand-Place of Brussels!”
Mayor of the City of Brussels,
President of the Brussels Flower Carpet organisation
Flower Carpet 2014: this year, say Begonyas!
On the occasion of this 19th edition, the Flower Carpet of the Grand-Place has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Turkish immigration in
1,800 m2 of begonias (begonyas in Turkish) will make up an ephemeral tapestry inspired by the geometric patterns of Turkey's famous kilims.
Visitors will have the opportunity to admire this astonishing display from 14 to 17 August 2014, to sense all its tones and all its nuances, whether from the Grand-Place itself or from above, from the balcony of the City Hall. A magical masterpiece, colourful and scented, what better way to
pay tribute to the Turkish community of Brussels!
Turkish immigration in Belgium
On 16 July 1964, Belgium and Turkey signed the bilateral convention which led to Turkish immigration in Belgium. 50 years ago the first Turkish workers arrived here. Bridges and social interactions were built between the communities, and the two cultures got to know each other.
Nowadays, over 220,000 Turkish-born individuals are residing in Belgium and migration from Turkey continues.
The year 2014 is an opportunity to highlight the memory of Turkish immigration in Belgium, and especially in Brussels, to promote cultural creations of Turkish origin, and to strengthen the sense of belonging to Belgian citizenship.
Which is why, this year, the Flower Carpet selection committee has chosen this theme, which is so important to our multicultural Region.
The Turkish carpets or kilims
Moreover, carpets are an integral part of Turkish culture. They are popular objects which are handed down from generation to generation. They are both useful items and decorative objects. Tradition dictates that a carpet should bear the name of the town where it was made. During Ottoman times, carpets were a status symbol and were presented as gifts to kings and sultans.
Patterns on Turkish carpets are incredibly varied and geometrical (diamonds, rectangles, stars, squares) and also include floral or animal patterns. The patterns represent and symbolise myths and beliefs: fertility, joy, happiness or protection from the evil eye. For instance, images of the hook, the eye or the scorpion protect, while birds are a symbol of life.
Turkey is well-known for its carpets, produced in every region: from Uşak (Ouchak), patterns used for the Brussels Flower Carpet, Hereke, a small town near Istanbul which, for centuries, created splendid carpets for the Ottoman palace, and many more, such as Sivas, Manisa, Ladik and many more. In the past, the carpets and kilims of Eastern Anatolia were for the most part made by nomadic or semi-nomadic populations.
The border city of Kars is an important region for the carpet trade. In no other city do so many different populations cohabitate. Tatars, Armenians, Cherkessians, Azerbaidjanis, Kurds and Turkmens have lived there in harmony for centuries. Twenty years ago, the well-known Kars-Kasaks were made there, carpets which are much enjoyed here, in dark tones of brown and green.
In the past, Erzurum was an important stop on the Silk Road, between Persia and the Black Sea. Kilims formerly weaved in this region are exceptionally beautiful and sought after by collectors. Sivas carpets boast an exceptional quality of wool and meticulous knotting.
Carpets and kilims from the district of Malatya are, for the most part, homemade by semi-nomads or nomadic settlers. Production of woven items is much greater than that of knotted carpets. Thanks to the number of gifts conserved in mosques, it has been possible to identify the carpets with great precision. The most beautiful Kurdish works, both woven and knotted, come from this region.
Many nomads spend their winter in the fertile plains of the Euphrates. The striped kilims are particularly beautiful. One of their qualities is that, for those made up of two bands which are sewn together, each one is a complete composition in itself, unlike other Anatolian kilims in which the two halves almost always combine into a single composition. Many symbols can be found on these carpets, such as hourglasses, crosses, S-patterns, diamond shapes with hook tips and octagons.
Anatolian carpets are the most expensive on the global market but demand
remains just as great.
Flowers in Turkey
Turkey's flora is one of the richest around the Mediterranean!
Did you know that tulips, which are generally associated with Holland, actually originated in Turkey. In fact, the name stems from the Turkish 'tülben', also the root of the English word 'turban'. Tulips were discovered in the 16th century. In 1554, learned Flemish botanist and Austrian ambassador, Augier Ghislain de Busbecq, decided to send to Vienna some tulip seeds which he had discovered in
Turkey some years earlier. In 1593, a friend of Augier Ghislain de Busbecq introduced the flower to Holland by selling his personal collection of tulips. While it was used as a decorative element of Turkish art for many centuries, the tulip then gave its name to an era, "the Tulip Age", which corresponds to the period from 1703 to 1717. Suleiman the Magnificent was fascinated with this flower and held many celebrations in its honour. As it is from Persia, the flower features widely in the Tales of the Arabian Nights, where its red colour symbolises eternal love.
But the Flower Carpet is made up of begonias, begonyas in Turkish!
A few figures
The flower carpet is 75 m long and 25 m wide. 1,800 m2 of begonias! It takes 2 years to bring about: the hundreds of thousands of cut flowers used for the composition need to be reserved well in advance. A gamble which is both beautiful and very daring. The weather, the number of visitors, the tour within the City Hall, timing... all these details are significant.
The flowers are kept fresh and radiant for four long days. How do we achieve this? Just before the opening, 120 volunteers bring colour to the carpet, based on a life-sized image which is laid down on the paving stones of the Grand-Place.
The image is drawn on micro-perforated plastic which is fixed to the ground.
The Flower Carpet Brussels 2014, Construction - Belgium 4K Travel Channel
The Flower Carpet Brussels 2014, Opening - Belgium 4K Travel Channel
Official Inauguration :