Brussels has plenty of green spaces to choose from. One of my favourites is in a neighbourhood often overlooked by tourists, but is well worth a visit. Parc Josaphat, in the commune of Schaerbeek, is 20 hectares of green parkland, filled with plants, people, art, and bunny rabbits.
The park was created in 1904 and is all that remains of the Linthout forest. Legend says it was named by a pilgrim who had just returned from Palestine. He was struck by the resemblance of Schaerbeek’s Roodebeek valley with that of the Josaphat valley, in the Holy Land. These days Parc Josaphat is a multicultural meeting ground, due to Schaerbeek’s large Middle Eastern community.
Throughout the park, you’ll find works of art, from historic statues to modern sculpture. There is a mini-golf park, a playground, and areas for archery, football, petanque, and tennis.
If you visit early in the morning or at dusk, you’re sure to see the park’s other inhabitants – dozens of wild rabbits who have made Parc Josaphat their home.