Mexico honoured on the Grand Place in Brussels


For 2018, Brussels has chosen to honour the Mexican region of Guanajuato with a colourful carpet of begonias. Depicting various symbols from Mexican culture, the floral work can be seen from 16 - 19 August 2018.

Every two years, during the summer, the Grand Place in Brussels is decorated with a carpet of begonias measuring 77m long and 24m wide. A specific creation is made for each edition. To reproduce the motifs, the life-size drawing is transferred onto a transparent and micro-perforated plastic sheet. The carpet, which is an original creation by the graphic designer Ana Rosa Aguilar Aguado, from Uriangato, is then completed by around 120 volunteers who position nearly one million begonias, or 300 for every square meter, in less than 4 hours. This year, the artist chose to integrate a variety of symbols and motifs from Mexican culture.

The carpet of flowers honours the Mexican region of Guanajuato, and its central motif is a bird which is typical of the embroideries of the Otomi culture, situated in the centre of an image of the sun, the principal deity of the Purépechas. Certain colours, which could not be sourced due to the drought in Europe this summer, had to be replaced by other colours. As such, an arrangement of flowers in red, yellow and brown hues can be seen. The various intricate details also mean that it is the most complex project ever completed on the Grand Place. This one is made up of more than 500,000 flowers from the Ghent region.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of UNESCO's recognition of Brussels' Grand-Place as the most beautiful square in the world, eight other carpets of flowers, each representing a World Heritage site, have been created and are on display in front of the Bourse.