The Grandeur Of Gold Leaf | We Are Nomads Skip to main content

A look gilded details in Paris and Brussels.

As I walked the streets of Paris and Brussels, I noticed the sheer amount of gold leaf applied to architecture and decorative details.

The Grand Palace

The square houses the town hall and various guildhalls almost all of which possess baroque architectural gold details. The guildhalls are home to various houses such as the House of the Corporation of Carpenters and the House of the Belgian Master Chocolatiers. it's a bit like an architectural Paris is Burning, with all of these opulent 'Houses'.


The process of gold leafing remains the same as it did hundreds of years ago and is applied and finished by hand. As gold leaf sheets are gold which has been hammered down they are quite delicate. There are two main types of applying the leaf, oil gilding and gold gilding. This article on Bucks Gold Leaf is a fascinating look into the process. Surprisingly gold leaf acts as a protective material architecturally and does not tarnish.

Bucks gold leaf process

Above is the cafe at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, just your average opulent space to sip a cup of tea.

Above, a door handle detail at the Palace of Versailles.

Visit Eurostar to book tickets to both Paris and Brussels.

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