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Bright Brussels is an annual free light festival in the city center of Brussels, stretching from Saint-Catherine, over the historical streets of Beguinage, to the former Citroën garage on place de l'Yser. This article is based on the Bright Lights edition of 2018. As the installations are different every year, these photos will give you an idea of what to expect without spoiling the surprise!
Dominating the Grand Place, a giant lantern in the shape of the Temple of Heaven was the eyecatcher of the exhibition Light the Heart of Europe, held to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year and the year of tourism between the European Union and China.
The light festival Bright Brussels was within walking distance of this small exhibition. There is an online interactive map of the installations, but try to get hold of a paper map if you can, because the online map isn't very handy to use (at least it wasn't in 2018). Use the leaflet or website to follow the suggested itinerary, or -as we did- wander around and let the lights guide you around.
One of my favourites was Stalactite in the former Citroën garage, a giant triangle floating upside down. The installation "invites us to rid ourselves of the things that weigh us down, to eliminate trivial stress and to live in the moment."
Equally impressive was the installation Underlight that turned the Quai du Commerce and the Parc du Quai à la Houille into a mysterious place with a colourful curtain of smoke and wind lighting up the tree crowns. The installation aimed at recreating the northern lights, the aurora borealis.
The eye-catcher on Vismet was Installation 160 where people entertained themselves taking selfies in the symmetrical tunnel of square lighted frames. The name 160 referred to the number of light rods used to make the installation.
Right next to it, the installation Flower Power at the Béguinage reminded me of the projections on the St. Peter's Abbey during the light festival of Ghent. Although the lightshow wasn't as impressive as the one in Ghent, the Church of Saint John the Baptist covered with beautiful and colorful flowers was a beautiful sight to behold.
In the next street, our famous Manneken Pis had his own installation Triple Jet. He continued doing what he's known for: peeing in public.
More installations were scattered around the city center. It's by strolling around that you'll discover the big, eye-catching installations, as well as the smaller lightshows that wrongfully tend to be overlooked.
- In 2019, the lightshow takes places from February 14 to February 17.
- More infore on the website of Bright Brussels.
- You can ask for a map of the installations in the tourist information center on Koningsstraat 2, 1000 Brussel
Do you have questions? Did you experience something similar? Did you notice a mistake? Please share!