The gothic buildings of Brussels' Grand Place have been given an extraordinary jolt of color this week, as volunteers constructed a giant floral carpet made from 600,000 begonias in the square's open space. Created as a tribute to African tapestry weavers the 1,800 square meter artwork is expected to be viewed by 100,000 people this weekend. Scroll down for photos.

flower carpet
NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/GettyImages


According to a Belgian website dedicated to the floral tradition, the decadent flower arrangement is brought to Grand Place every two years, beginning in 1971 when landscape architect E. Stautemans first conceived of the enormous work of art. The carpets are created from locally-grown begonias, cultivated in the Ghent area and carefully chosen for their quality, durability and bold colors. Planned a year in advance, the carpet-making process involves several stages of outlining the design, recruiting skillful gardeners, and finally arranging the floral puzzle in just under four hours. Every carpet is based on a different theme, ranging from commemorations of historic events to recreations of town's coat of arms to volunteered designs from horticultural organizations.

flower carpet
GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages


Grand Palace stands as one of Belgium's biggest visitor attractions and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The carpets bring vibrancy to the otherwise stone-washed buildings of the square, which consist of the city's Town Hall and the Maison du Roi (the King's house, often called the Breadhouse).

Check out images of the stunning flower carpet in the slideshow below, and let us know about your favorite floral installations in the comments section.
<

Loading Slideshow...
  • Volunteers work on the Grand-Place in Brussels, covered on August 14, 2012 by a huge carpet of some 2000 m2 of flowers in the colours of African fabrics, an ephemeral event that should be every two years. 300 flowers are needed per square metre and about 600,000 begonias were brought on the Grand-Place where hundreds of volunteers have worked to put them in tight rows in a pattern inspired by the complex tissues of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana and Cameroon. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

  • Volunteers work on the Grand-Place in Brussels, covered on August 14, 2012 by a huge carpet of some 2000 m2 of flowers in the colours of African fabrics, an ephemeral event held every two years. 300 flowers are needed per square metre and about 600,000 begonias were brought on the Grand-Place where hundreds of volunteers have worked to put them in tight rows in a pattern inspired by the complex tissues of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana and Cameroon. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

  • Volunteers work on the Grand-Place in Brussels, covered on August 14, 2012 by a huge carpet of some 2000 m2 of flowers in the colours of African fabrics, an ephemeral event that should be every two years. 300 flowers are needed per square metre and about 600,000 begonias were brought on the Grand-Place where hundreds of volunteers have worked to put them in tight rows in a pattern inspired by the complex tissues of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana and Cameroon. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

  • Volunteers work on the Grand-Place in Brussels, covered on August 14, 2012 by a huge carpet of some 2000 m2 of flowers in the colours of African fabrics, an ephemeral event that should be every two years. 300 flowers are needed per square metre and about 600,000 begonias were brought on the Grand-Place where hundreds of volunteers have worked to put them in tight rows in a pattern inspired by the complex tissues of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana and Cameroon. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

  • Volunteers work on the Grand-Place in Brussels, covered on August 14, 2012 by a huge carpet of some 2000 m2 of flowers in the colours of African fabrics, an ephemeral event that should be every two years. 300 flowers are needed per square metre and about 600,000 begonias were brought on the Grand-Place where hundreds of volunteers have worked to put them in tight rows in a pattern inspired by the complex tissues of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana and Cameroon. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

  • A picture shows the Flower Carpet 2012 on the Grand Place - Grote Markt in Brussels on August 15, 2012. The Grand Place was decked out with 600,000 begonias in a giant tribute to African weaving in a big bi-annual tourist draw. NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/GettyImages

  • A picture shows the Flower Carpet 2012 on the Grand Place - Grote Markt in Brussels on August 15, 2012. The Grand Place was decked out with 600,000 begonias in a giant tribute to African weaving in a big bi-annual tourist draw. NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/GettyImages

  • Boxes of flowers are seen on the Grand-Place in Brussels, covered on August 14, 2012 by a huge carpet of some 2000 m2 of flowers in the colours of African fabrics, an ephemeral event that should be every two years. 300 flowers are needed per square metre and about 600,000 begonias were brought on the Grand-Place where hundreds of volunteers have worked to put them in tight rows in a pattern inspired by the complex tissues of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana and Cameroon. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

  • Volunteers work on the Grand-Place in Brussels, covered on August 14, 2012 by a huge carpet of some 2000 m2 of flowers in the colours of African fabrics, an ephemeral event that should be every two years. 300 flowers are needed per square metre and about 600,000 begonias were brought on the Grand-Place where hundreds of volunteers have worked to put them in tight rows in a pattern inspired by the complex tissues of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana and Cameroon. GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

  • A picture shows the Flower Carpet 2012 on the Grand Place - Grote Markt in Brussels on August 15, 2012. The Grand Place was decked out with 600,000 begonias in a giant tribute to African weaving in a big bi-annual tourist draw. NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/GettyImages

Also on HuffPost: