It was built between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, originally following the Romanesque style of the time, but later rebuilt as a Gothic piece. The huge tower is sure to catch your eye, standing almost 123 metres high, making it the tallest structure in the city, and interestingly, the second highest brick structure in the world, after New York's Chrysler Building. There are many important works here, including the mausoleums of Duchess Mary of Burgundy and Duke Charles the Bold, and Michelangelo's Madonna with Child.
The same thing happens to me with books as with movies. I put myself in the plot so much that when I'm finished it's like I invented another character. I am one of them. I'm on stage. But then the magic fades away. However, in Brussels there is a place that makes me get that feeling every time I step in front of Notre Dame de Sablon Church. Why? Because it was in one of the scenes of the movie The Pillars of the Earth. So I walk slowly to relive what Ken Follet said happened in this XV century gothic Church of XV century. It's a beauty that demands our attention.
This church is right on the corner of Market Square, St. Nicholas is the patron saint of the merchants in this location. It is one of the oldest churches in Brussels. It has undergone several reconstructions, it is believed that it was built on the site of a former eighth century temple. It was sacked in 1579 and partly destroyed in a bombing in 1695, the last renovation was in 1956, but the ancient parts inside have been preserved. The choir dates back to 1381, and in it there's a picture of the Virgin that's attributed to Rubens. Curiously, the Altar Mayor chapel is turned sideways.
The view from the outside is beautiful. You can go in this chapel on the ground floor and then climb the stairs up to the chapel. There, on the top floor, by the stairs outside the building there. The chapel is stunning, it's probably the most beautiful building I've seen as far as interiors go. You can't come to Bruges and not see it.
The Church of Saint Cristophe dates back to the early nineteenth century and it has a very neat white appearance despite how the other buildings in this region look due to the area's high humidity. However, moisture gives the dome a green hue. It is located in the Plaza de Carlos II and is one of the most charming places in Charleroi. Especially at this time of autumn approaching Christmas. Trees have spectacular color. Reds, browns and yellows are intensified mini bulbs hanging from the lampposts surreptitiously. In the square and are installed stalls sell gifts.
This is a pretty medieval church from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The interior was renovated in the eighteenth century in the Baroque style and the exterior has regained its original appearance after a much needed restoration. Inside its a real gem, complete with an original baptismal area, one of the seven wonders of Belgium. The hours are worth noting, as in many of the country's museums, from 10 to 12h and 14 to 17h.
The church is located in the imposing Grote Markt (the main market square of the city), just across from the ornate City Hall. Built mainly in the fifteenth century Brabant Gothic style, the floor planof the church is in the shape of a Latin cross with a low belltower that was never finished. The first church on the site, was made of wood and, it is thought, founded in 986, was burned downin 1176, and was replaced by a Romanesque church, made of stone, with the western end flanked by two round towers, as seen in the style Basilica of Our Lady in Maastricht . Of the Romanesque building the only part remaining is the crypt beneath the gate of the church today. Construction of the present Gothic building, significantly larger than its predecessor, was begun in about the year 1425, and work continued for more than half a century in a notably uniform style. In 1497 the building was nearing completion, although there continued to be changes, especially at the western end.
The Benedictine Abbey Church of Santiago was founded in 1015. It is a gothic-style church that was rebuilt between 1514 and1538. The interior is richly decorated with sculptures of Del Cour as well as an organ of the seventeenth century and outstanding stained glass. It also has an outstanding vault with over 150 segments in the nave. It is one of the most beautiful buildings of the city.
One of the main monuments of Namur to be a masterpiece of Baroque style in Belgium. In addition, two centuries later, it fascinated Baudelaire. The Church of the Convent of the Jesuits was erected between 1621 and 1645, and is a magnificent example of XVII century religious architecture. The interior surprises with marbles and plant motifs making it magnificent both inside and out.
This church dedicated to St. Denis was founded in 987, by Bishop Notger. The western facade probably formed past of the defensive system of the city. Inside, you'll find beautiful furniture, baroque statues, and an organ. The tower and the nave are Romanesque: do not miss the sixteenth century altarpiece and aisles painted by Lambert Lombard.
Its beginnings date back to the year 980 by Prince Bishop Notger. It is inspired by the palace chapel of Charlemagne in Aachen. The building survived until 1754, when it was completely razed and replaced by the current neoclassical building. The Gothic cloister dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and retains many tombstones. The tower houses a carillon with 35 bells. Do not miss the medieval statues of the Virgin and St. John and the cloister.
Located somewhere south of the city, overlooking the river, the church Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-over-de-Dijlekerk (do not ask me how to pronounce, because ... I do not know!) is a place of great calmness and tranquility . The whiteness of the building and its high belfry impose themselves upon the neighborhood, and if you are lucky you will hear the organ played by one of the students of the city. You can also admire a painting by Rubens and beautiful reflections of light at certain times of day when the sun gives the stained glass ... It is a very nice little break before heading back to the hustle and bustle of the train station.