The Cathedral Sts Michel-et-Gudule is the national church of Belgium, but has only been a cathedral since 1962. It was built 1226 in the Brabant Gothic style (named after Henry I, Duke of Brabant who began construction) and is one of the best examples that remains of this type of architecture. The cathedral has had its share of bad tidings, but was never completely destroyed – more from the iconoclast damage and French revolutionaries ransacking the building.
The interior has been redone in a Baroque style and contains some wonderful stained glass windows that date from the 1500s. The pulpit is a flamboyant Baroque style and shows Saint Michael (one of the saints of Brussels whom the church is named after) killing the dragon. The other saint the church is named after is Saint Gudule – a local woman from the 8th century and another patron saint of Brussels.
The nave of the cathedral is lined with statues of the 12 apostles, each with a gilded symbol – an example would be the keys of St. Peter are gilded on the stone statue. These statues are Baroque in style and were added in the 16th-17th centuries. The columns of the cathedral demonstrate a typically Belgian styling with the large, thick columns topped with cabbage leaf-like decorations at the top. There are also cluster columns towards the rear of the nave – typical of French design and large to support the two front towers.
Looking up the nave towards the altar area, you can get a feel for the centuries it took to complete the building and how the styles were changing from the Romanesque to the Gothic. Up towards the altar, the first area to be built, you will see the windows are smaller and there is more wall for support, but farther back in the nave (towards the entrance) the walls get higher and the windows larger, typical of the Gothic styling.
In the back of the cathedral were some interesting photos of a royal wedding that was held in the church, a reminder of the status of the cathedral in Brussels.
The cathedral is located in the center of the city, just a short walk from the Grand Place, at Parvis Sainte-Gudule.
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
Stepping inside the Cathedral Of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula you cannot help being impressed with the long time line it showcases before your eyes. The nave of the church is lined with twelve pillars each bearing a statue of the Apostles the nave dates back to the 17th. Century. The little side Chapel of our Lady of Redemtion felt like a place of sanctury with its wonderful stained glass windows designed on sketches by Rubens pupil van Thulden dates to the mid 17th. Century. You then find yourself looking at the new Swallow organ made in Barcelona by German organ maker Gerherd Grenzing and English architect Simon Platt the organ was installed in the year 2000. The Cathedral has a very simple granite block Altar were you can see the meridian line cross the Church through the centre of the Altar. The Church is free to enter visits to the crypt and the two exhibitions have a small fee but are only open at certain times. There is a Cathedral shop where you can buy guide books, posters and religious items. Toilets are also available here and you will have to pay 1 euro so take some change with you
The St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral is a beautiful church in Gothic style from the 13th century, although there are parts of it that are as old as the 11th century. On first impression what it reminded me of was Notre-Dame de Paris and de Montreal and a little bit of Votivkirken in Vienna.
The Cathedral got its name from the patron saints of Brussels, St. Michael (the archangel) and St. Gudula (her relics are in the Cathedral), and it's used for Catholic services, royal marriages (like the Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilda in the late 1990's) and state funerals.
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.
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.
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.
They say, the importunate demon prevented to read religious books to a young devout inhabitant of Bruxelles at the nights - continually blew into a candle. The girl every time again lit a candle and according to that was canonized in due time. The Cathedral has two Gothic towers unlike Brabant traditions for which one tower is typical only. The Cathedral was constructed in the thirteenth-sixteenth centuries .
When in 1999 the St. Michael and St Gudule cathedral has been restored on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, a new organ, built by Gerhard Grenzing of Barcelona, has been installed in 2000 . it has been inaugurated on the 29th of september 2000.
The St-Goedelekathedraal, also called St-Michiels Cathedral , is the main church of Brussels. (Royal weddings)
Here you can find the thombs of many belgian Kings (Boudewijn and his father Leopold III)The choir is early brabant gothic
( 13th century) and is based on the style of the large cathedrals of Northern France.(Look at Reims Page) The cathedral with two strong towers giving it an imposing appearance. It is also welknown as the private church of the royal belgian family.
My private impression during my visit : it needs urgently restored
In Brussels we are used to call the Cathédrale St-Michel by the name of Sainte Gudule whose statue stands above an entry.
During the 50 years I lived in Brussel, I always saw the cathedral with dirty dark grey stones, it's only when I left that they started cleaning and restoring the church outside and inside. To make appear the colors of the Gobertange stone ( in Walloon Brabant).
It's by hazard that I found on a Sunday evening a (free) parking place next to the cathedral so that I took this photo and came to the conclusion that the architect Van Ruysbroeck (who also built the tower of the Hôtel de Ville) made a great job in the 15th c. with these strong and elegant towers perfect examples of the Gothique Brabançon.
Saint Michael Cathedral is located between lower and upper city of Brussels. There used to be a church in early days but due to the growing populations Saint Michael Cathedral was established in fourteenth century. After that cathedral has been continuously under the process of renovation.
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.
The only black stone "una pietra nera" I heard about in the Cathedral St Michel et Gudule is in the "Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-la-Délivrance". It is an altar made of black marble with a central Assumption of the Virgin due to Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne (around 1650) nephew of Philippe de Champaigne.
Sint-Michiel en Sint Goedele Cathedral
The building of this cathedral started in 1226 and went on for 300 years. It was finished in the beginning of the 16th century with the building of the two towers.
Daily between 08.00 hrs -18.00 hrs.