At the edge of the Sonian Forest, Tournay-Solvay Park extends over an area of almost 7 hectares, offering a picturesque green space of unusual quality. The property once belonged to Alfred Solvay, who had a Flemish neo-Renaissance style castle built on the site in 1878. However, it was not until 1911 that landscape architect Jules Buyssens was commissioned to develop the layout for the park. Here, Buyssens made good use of the stepped plunging terrain. He designed a magnificent English-style landscape park with surprising views, but also containing more secluded areas. The upper part contains wide lawns planted with splendid-looking trees, including a number of listed specimens, such as a Turkish hazel, a cedar of Lebanon, a lime tree, a Korean dogwood and some Canadian hemlock. The pathways then continue towards a former area of marshland, with its characteristic wetland plants and two water bodies forming a chain of ponds with Etangs des Enfants Noyés upstream and Boitsfort lake downstream. Here, a rockery made from Brussels sandstone has been built from where the water from a spring flows. Ferro-cement walkways made to look like the branches of trees intertwined to form an irregular latticework connect the different parts of the park to each other. Faux rocks enhance the picturesque appearance of certain parts of the property, where cement mushrooms and a former cold store can also be found. On the other slope, an orchard of high grass is filled with fruit trees and leads to an old-style enclosed vegetable garden. The municipality acquired the property in 1980 to ensure the preservation of the entire site. (Listed 18/11/1993)
Walking tour “Tournay-Solvay Park: an unsung jewel?”.