A Visitor's Guide to the Vrijbroekpark in Mechelen, Belgium
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A Visitor's Guide to the Vrijbroekpark in Mechelen, Belgium

The Vrijbroekpark in Mechelen can be considered as one of the green pearls of Belgium. This 50 ha park is located on the border of the city Mechelen and reflects the harmony of nature, recreation facilities and flowers.

The Vrijbroekpark in Mechelen can be considered as one of the green pearls of Belgium. This 50 ha park is located on the border of the city Mechelen and can be reached in 15 minutes with the bus from the station. The beauty of this park reflects the harmony of nature, recreation facilities and flowers. The Vrijbroekpark is famous worldwide for its Rose Garden which is honored in 2003 with the Award of Garden Excellence, distributed by the World Federation of Rose Societies.

  The love for “The Vrijbroekpark” in Mechelen is not only based on beauty; it is a perfect place for walking, jogging, Nordic- walking, fishing, skating and many other sportive activities. There is even a playground for the children. It is possible to make a tree-walk, an herb walk but you may never miss to walk in the amazing Rose Garden. It depends from season to season and you may see many butterflies, insects, amphibians’ birds, ducks and many other animals. It is even possible you can view a squirrel in winter. These animals are often searching for food in this period of year. Nuts and seed of the Scots Pine tree belong to their favorite food. It is not unusual you will meet also some rabbits in this beautiful park of Mechelen.


 There are many beautiful and solitaire trees in the attractive avenues of the tree-walk. The highest trees of the Vrijbroekpark measures 44 meters and are relative young, approximately 80 years. You will notice as first the lemon trees (the Tilia platphyllos and the Tilia cordata). Both have aromatic flowers which are blooming in June and July. There is a popular belief of the Romans that the lemon tree is a sacrificed tree and protects against lightening.


Oaks are some other important trees during your walk. You will discover different kinds of oaks, for example the American oak, Quercus robur, Quercus petraea etc. There is a legend saying that the oak is the king of the trees. The alder, the cypress, the willow tree, the taxus, the ash tree are some other trees which you may discover during your tree- walk.

The 1,5 km herb walk is worthwhile to do for discovering the culinary and healing power of these herbs and plants. It may vary from season to season which herbs you can see. The Saponaria officinalis, the Ricinus communis, the Phytolacca Americana, the Glycyrhiza glasra L, the Aegopodium podagraria are some of them. It is impossible to sum up them all and you may even discover some which you have never seen before.



The Rose Garden is a highlight in the Vrijbroekpark in Mechelen. It has a collection of more than 1100 different kinds of roses from different continents of the world. On the entrance of the Rose Garden you can view the Award of Garden Excellence and a statue of Albert Nobels. It is really amazing how many kinds of roses you can find in these gardens and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish them. You find them in all kinds of colors, yellow, red, pink, white, pale, peachy and orange.



 It is important to know the language of roses because every color has a different meaning. Red is the color of love and passion, white reflects innocence and purity, yellow is the color of friendship, pink is an expression of thank, pale symbolizes love at first sight, peachy roses are a sign of appreciation and gratitude and orange roses are a sign of desire and enthusiasm.



Some important roses in this garden are André Brichet roses, the Tiffany roses, the peace roses, the Pascali Roses, the queen Elizabeth Roses, Mme Caroline Testout roses, the Medaillon Roses but you also discover some other flowers like the Dahlia, Papaver, Canna, Pioen and even fruit. The Rose Garden is also divided in different parts, for example the educative rose garden, the Old Garden Roses (for example Rosa Gallica L from Western Asia and Caucasus, Rosa Damascena, Rosa Canina L) and modern roses (for example Rosa Polyantha, the Chinese Rose Roulettii) and a botanical garden.

The Vrijbroekpark in Mechelen is really a place where you can enjoy all the time. For visitors, there is also a restaurant, located near the entrance, where you can eat a little meal and drink a cup of coffee or any other beverage you prefer. There are also festivities which take every year place in different periods of the year, for example the day of the park, the rose celebrations, the harvest celebrations and some other themes.

A visit to the Vrijbroek in Mechelen may be a wonderful addition after a day visiting the highlights of the city Mechelen and a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the nature. You can visit this garden at any time throughout the year but you may best choose for June or July to enjoy the beauty of the Rose Garden. This park belongs to the most beautiful parks in Belgium and may never be missed if you travel to Belgium.

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Comments (8)

I really enjoyed your wonderful article Erik. I love flowers and the legends and meanings of trees and flowers are fascinating. Thank you for the tour. Belgium is so beautiful and people so nice there.

Another well written tourism guide.

Captivating photos and a very enjoyable article.

Love the pics. They were breath taking!

Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Great article!

Very good article, thanks for giving us a glimpse of Belgium.

Beautiful place, excellent.

Very useful guide here, thanks.