Cathédrale St Michel & Gudule, Brussels

4.5 out of 5 stars 81 Reviews

Place Sainte-Gudule, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium +32 2 217 83 45

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  • illumina's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of Saint Michael and St Gudula

    by illumina Written Dec 4, 2009

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    A church dedicated to St Michael has probably existed on this site since the 9th century. A Romanesque church was built here in the 11th century, when it became a collegiate church; soon after the relics of St Gudula were moved there and her name added to the dedication. The present church, in Gothic Brabançon style, was begun in 1226, on the orders of Henry I, Duke of Brabant.

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St Michael and Gudula

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 22, 2009

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    First completed in 1047, the Cathedral of St Michael became the final resting place of the remains of Saint Gudula, which the Duke of Brabant brought here. So it was renamed the Cathedral of St Michael and Gudula. Most of the construction dates from the 13th century.

    It incorporates a mix of styles, reflecting the changes that have occured over the years. It also reflects the position of Brussels, on the crossroads of France, Germany, and the Netherlands. It's the official site of all royal Belgian weddings and funerals.

    Cathedral of St Michael and Gudula Inside the cathedral The transcept, with its stained-glass window
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  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    The Cathedral

    by mikey_e Written Jan 4, 2009

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    La Cathédrale Saints Michel et Gudule seems a bit odd, as it is a massive and imposing structure that is in a quarter filled with buildings that are otherwise offices and the like. That gives it the feeling of being newer than it actually is. Although the first church was erected in this spot (atop a hill that was a busy traffic area) in the 11th century, the original church was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current structure, in Gothic style, in the 13th century. The nave dates from the 15th century, however, and for this reason it is in Brabant Gothic style. Luckily, the long period of time required to build the church did not mean that it was a mishmash of various architectural tastes. There are spectacular buttresses along the upper parts of the cathedral, and all along the lower parts, especially near the western entrance, there are impressively detailed sculptures chronicling, obviously, Biblical stories and personnages. The inside of the church is suprisingly light for a Gothic cathedral, and the Nave has incredible stained glass windows. There are also some spectacular sculptures inside the church, commissioned by various monarchs and also by the state for national heroes. I think that part of the draw of the church is the light stone from which it is built, allowing for a lighter and airier interior while still permitting the intricacy of the Gothic style. La Cathédrale Saints Michel et Gudule seems a bit odd, as it is a massive and imposing structure that is in a quarter filled with buildings that are otherwise offices and the like. That gives it the feeling of being newer than it actually is. Although the first church was erected in this spot (atop a hill that was a busy traffic area) in the 11th century, the original church was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current structure, in Gothic style, in the 13th century. The nave dates from the 15th century, however, and for this reason it is in Brabant Gothic style. Luckily, the long period of time required to build the church did not mean that it was a mishmash of various architectural tastes. There are spectacular buttresses along the upper parts of the cathedral, and all along the lower parts, especially near the western entrance, there are impressively detailed sculptures chronicling, obviously, Biblical stories and personnages. The inside of the church is suprisingly light for a Gothic cathedral, and the Nave has incredible stained glass windows. There are also some spectacular sculptures inside the church, commissioned by various monarchs and also by the state for national heroes. I think that part of the draw of the church is the light stone from which it is built, allowing for a lighter and airier interior while still permitting the intricacy of the Gothic style.

    La Cath��drale The doors and their intricate carvings The interior of the Cathedral Stained glass in the Nave Detail of the western fa��ade
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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Colourful and interesting stained glass windows

    by angiebabe Updated Jul 21, 2008

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    The church/cathedral didnt particularly awe or inspire me but the interesting and very colourful and pictorial stained glass windows that turned out so well in my photos along with the gold statue of St Michael were worth seeing.

    There were several informative posters put up in english around the building which also aided with learning a bit of history about the site as well which was appreciated.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    300 yrs to build

    by angiebabe Updated Jul 21, 2008

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    There was a chapel here as early as the 9th century dedicated to St Michael, replaced in the 11th century by a romanesque church and then in the 13th century this present Gothic style church was commenced taking 300 years to complete.

    In 1962 this church was given the status of cathedral and became the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels.

    Apparently this is a popular place to be seen getting married at with Royals and celebrities having their wedding ceremonies here.

    an interesting statue of St Michael to pray to Gothic cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula
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  • tere1's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Cathedral!

    by tere1 Written Apr 10, 2008

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    This church is to be found at the Treurenberg hill on the edge between lower and upper town. Already at the beginning of the 11th century a church was situated here. In 1047 the Duke of Brabant, Lambert II, had the relics of Saint Gudula transferred from the Saint Gorik church in downtown Brussels to the new church at the Treurenberg hill.

    From that moment on the Saint Gudula and Saint Michael church took the lead over all the other churches in Brussels. Lambert II also gave the church a chapter of 12 canons (= priests who took care of the services and possessions of the church).

    All through the 20th century the Cathedral has almost continuously been renovated. The renovation was completed in December 1999 when the marriage of the Belgian Crown Prince Philippe with his bride Princess Mathilda took place here, on the 4th of December.

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  • rcsparty's Profile Photo

    St Michaels

    by rcsparty Written Nov 10, 2007

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    The choir of St Michaels dates back to the 13th century, with the nave added in the 14th century. It was elevated to cathedral status in 1962. The two towers were designed by Jan van Ruysbroeck, designer of the town hall. The church had been damaged by both the calvanists and the French revolutionaries. Above the choir, are fine stained glass windows depicting the cities Spanish, Burgundian, and Austrian rulers.

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  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    San Michel and Gudule Cathedral

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 25, 2007

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    On a slope just a block away from the Central station stands Brussels' historic cathedral, and its position beyond the Grand Place and its shopping district has sort of left it away from the major tourist route so that you really have to read up on it to know it is there unless you join a sightseeing tour. The reason it is here is because this was once the crossing between the major Mons-Brussels and Brussels to the Rheinland routes and a very lively place. The setting today is less impressive with modern office blocks and heavy traffic all around it which does not add to a great atmosphere, but once you are inside, there is plenty to be fascinated about and the cathedral has been the setting for several royal marriages and funerals.

    In the 9th century it is thought that there was already a chapel dedicated to St Michael on the site and around 1047 the remains of Saint Gudule were moved to their final resting place here too, giving the church a longer name. Henry II, Duke of Brabant, decided that the Gothic cathedral you now see was to be built, including the typical choir, and it was finished in 1226 but it was in fact not until 1962 that it was given cathedral status. Personally, I am intrigued by the crypt which was only discovered during late renovations. You can wander around at your leisure but there are also guided tours.

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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    The Cathedral with two Patron Saints

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 9, 2007

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    The Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula is dedicated to two patron saints - Saint Michael the Archangle and Saint Gudla. Saint Gudula dedicated her life to the poor and sick in her home place of St. Gery's Island, her relics were brought to the Church and she was venerated for 500 years. Strangly, she lost her status in 1962 when the 2nd. Vatican Council removed her along with many other saints. St. Gudula was re instated in 1993 and continues her double dedication today. Throughout the 20th. century the Cathedral has been under constant renovations, completed finally in December 1999 in time for the marriage of Crown Prince Philippe to Princess Nathilda on 4th. December 1999. The Cathedral is the principal place of worship in Brussels and the setting for grand state occassions. The soaring twin towers are exceptionally striking as are the many statues and intricate details and designs on the pristine Church. I though looking at this marvelous Church how new she looked - but no it has seen many changes down through time all lovingly restored.
    The Church is open Monday - Friday 7.00 - 19.00 Saturday 8.30 - 15.30 Sunday 8.30 - 19.00
    admission is free but donations towards the upkeep of the Church are always welcome

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    Discover the Art Treasures of the Cathedral

    by DanielF Updated Apr 25, 2007

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    The interior of the cathedral is perfectly representative of the Counter-Reformation movement in Belgium: the columns are decorated with sculptures of the Twelve Apostles, there is a splendidly ornate Baroque pulpit and perfectly preserved stain-glassed windows from the XVI and XVII centuries.

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    Visit the Cathedral

    by DanielF Updated Feb 22, 2007

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    The cathedral of Brussels is one of the finest churches in Brabant Gothic style and, although the area where it stands has lost much of its former old world charm, it is still one of the most interesting buildings in town.

    Since Brussels has not been an episcopal seat until well into the XX century, the church was built with only the rank of a collegiate (Brussels makes part of the diocese of Mechlin, primate seat of Belgium). It had the promotion to cathedral in 1962, when the shared seat of Mechlin and Brussels was established.

    From the outside of the church, the western façade is the most appealing, as it faces a large square and ejoys the best perspective. It is flanked by two unfinished towers. Should the stiples have been built, the towers would have an additional height of 40 metres and would reach almost 100 metres altogether.

    West fa��ade Detail of the Portal West fa��ade South fa��ade Abse and transept

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  • bjankovic's Profile Photo

    Saint Michael and Gudula's Cathedral

    by bjankovic Written Feb 21, 2007

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    The largest Gothic style cathedral in Brussels. It is often used for royal marriages and state funerals. There is a small newly landscaped park in front of the cathedral that is perfect for taking a short break from walking.

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  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    Brussels Cathedral

    by fishandchips Updated Jan 25, 2007

    The cathedral is plain to look at, both outside and inside, and is dedicated to the city's patron St. Michael and to St. Gudula. The cathedral was started in 1226 but not officially consecrated as a cathedral until 1961. Quite bizzare really!!

    There are some superb stained-glass windows (donated by 16th-century Habsburg Emperor Charles V). Apart from these, the interior decoration is quite sparse and dominated by soaring columns and arches.

    Apparently Victor Hugo considered this church to be the "purest flowering of the Gothic style" whatever that means.

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Great view from porticio of St. Michael

    by Martin_S. Written Dec 6, 2006

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    While we were there visiting the city of Brussels was doing some "house cleaning" and sprucing up the park that is just across the street from the steps of St. Michael, it added much to the city view to look out over even this small park.
    The cathedral itself is beautifully designed and I have included some of the details. Sometimes it is difficult to appreciate the intricate designs that are placed so, so, far above your head, you would need a helicopter to get close or a really big telephoto lens.
    You can see some more pictures, especially of the interior, at the website I have added, it also has links where you can learn about everything from the name itself to the architecture.

    St. Michael & St. Gudala Cathedral, Brussels St. Michael & St. Gudala Cathedral, Brussels St. Michael & St. Gudala Cathedral, Brussels View from St. Michael & St. Gudala Cathedral
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  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    St Michael's Cathedral

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 16, 2006

    The first church at this site, St Gudula's, was constructed in the 11th Century. It ruins can still be viewed under the present church, St Michaels, built from the 1200s until about 1500. Throughout the 20th Century, the church was completely renovated, with the reconstruction ending in December 1999.

    The church, being the most famous in Brussels, sits on a hill constantly full of tourists and church-goers.

    St. Michael's
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