Le Tour Sainte Gertrude
This parade is a middle-age tradition, still very well alive. The whole town follows around in a day-long pilgrimage the intricately decorated box where the remains of Ste Gertrude are kept. Sainte Gertrude is the protector of Nivelles and is one of the founders of the abbey at the origin of the town.
When? The Sunday following St Michel day (September 29). Every year!
Picture from the website below.
My grand-mother's house!
Bonne Maman lived in this little house for more than 30 years. These cheap little houses were built after the war and are still being rent. There are rows of them in this street, Rue de l'Aviation. The white painted brick is very typical of Belgium.
My Grand-Mother was born in 1899, and lived in Nivelles all her life, going through 2 wars. She died in 1995.
The town where I was born! (yeah, yeah, big deal!)
"Great town full of history"
What a shame! The first time I looked for Nivelles on VT, nothing! With all these talented Belgian VT members, what's going on that none seems to know this nice little town, where the famous Xenohumph saw the light of the day for the first time??
Well, so, I had to do something, even if my pictures are not top quality and I visited the town as a tourist only once, in 2001 to show it to my husband. For 25 years, every year, I went to Nivelles to visit my grand-mother and stay at her place, a small typical white-painted brick house. So, I am not very versed on all the historical stuffs to see here, beside the biggest church in town, Collégiale Sainte-Gertrude (above) dating from the Middle-Ages. It is one of the biggest romanesque churches in Europe.
"World War II"
Nivelles was bombed by the Germans in 1940. Luckily the walls of the Collégiale withstood the blast, and all that needed to be rebuilt were the roof and the main steeple. Houses around the church were completely flattened.
This is a picture that was in my Grand-Mother's living room throughout my childhood. The picture was taken by the local photographer Monsieur Sanspoux (funny name by the way in french, it means without flees!). Sorry, the scanning of the picture through its glass frame did not give a wonderful result...
Nivelles is located about 25 km South of Brussels, in the Brabant -Wallon province of Belgium. The inhabitants of Nivelles are called aclots (male) and aclotes (female) and they speak french.
The house on the picture was built by my mother in the 50'. I lived there the first year of my life. My parents sold the house more than 10 years ago. I think the street is Rue Dangonneau.
Nivelles is a small city not far from Brussels. There is a major train station there. The center is nice and has a lot of boutiques as Etam, the one I prefer.
There is the Collégiale to visit. It is even in my introduction to architecture book...
A must see!
Market day, Saturday morning
The weekly market takes place at Grand Place, the area surrounding the Collégiale Sainte Gertrude, every Saturday morning. Like in any typical European market, you can find fresh vegetables, cheese, meat, clothes, flowers,...