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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  • Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, Brussels
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  • The remains of the 11th century Romanesque church
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    The Cathedral of St. Michael and St....
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  • Mahieu's Profile Photo

    Saint Michael and St Gudula Cathedral part II

    by Mahieu Written Jun 7, 2003

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    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.

    inside the cathedral
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    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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    Cathedrale Saint-Michel et Gudule

    by Norali Updated Mar 30, 2004

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    Not really on Grand-place level, you'll have to get near Gare centrale station to see it.

    One of places I appreciate. Its majesty impresses. It stands grand, especially if you access there from Gare Centrale and that you have to climb the "hill", Place Ste Gudule. Those sharp shapes are just impressive.

    As you get closer, you will soon realize how magnificent architecture in Brussels is... Brabant Gothic is not my style, rather Baroque. This is one I particularly like, without me being an architecture connoisseur. Its building started in XIII century and took some 300 years. It was only granted of cathedral status in 1961. Visits are organized.

    At noon, you will find there people from surrounding offices eating their lunch on stairs of its square.

    Oh! a detail for naively romantic or "fleur bleue" persons (me included), weddings of Royal Family members usually take place there. Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde in 1999, Prince Laurent and Princess Claire in 2003.

    Cathedrale St-Michel et Gudule
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    THE Cathedral

    by xuessium Written Mar 25, 2006

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    A gothic style cathedral built in the name of St.Michael, the Archangel and St.Gudule, a vague 17th century figure whose reputation is based on her gentle determination, despite all sorts of shenanigans, the devil shall not make her think an uncharitable thought.

    Work started on the Cathedral in 1215 and only finished almost three hundred years later. The twin towered structure is extremely eye-catching. For folks who hope to catch a good photo of the white-stone facade, come here in the afternoon when the afternoon sun hits it lovingly, bringing out the best of its architectural details.

    The interior by contrast, is sombre and dim. Statues holding weapons (claimed to be the Apostles) stared down at you from the many pillars as you slowly meander your way around. The interior is surprisingly cluttered and narrow due to these pillars as they sort of got in the way of the rows of benches. When I was there in the morning, the place was packed with devotees and tourists. Sunlight streamed in from the roof and side windows provided an ethereal glow to an otherwise heavy forbidding interior.

    CathedralofSt.Michael&St.Gudule
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    cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula

    by mindcrime Written Oct 25, 2012

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    Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula (Cathedrale Sts Michel et Gudule or Sint-Goedele ) is an impressive roman catholic church dedicated to archangel Michael and the martyr St.Gudula, both of them patron saints of Brussels.

    It is considering as a fine example of Brabant gothic architecture although the typical in this style is to have one tower. It was amazing walking up the grand staircase (date from 1861) and see the tall towers going up…

    There was a church dedicated to St Michael on the same spot since the 12th century but this one was started to built in 1225 during the reign of Henry I when the relics of St Gudula were transferred here. The church completed 300 years later when the 2 towers were added in front.

    Once inside we were surprised as it has simple decoration for a cathedral, we walked a bit around taking pictures of the statues (the 12 apostles in baroque style) but we also noticed many spectacular stained glass windows all over the cathedral, most of them showing scenes from the bible.

    Official ceremonies, marriages take please here but also concerts (not only religious music!) and exhibitions of local artists.

    We also went down to the crypt (pic 5) but you can easily skip this as it’s not something special

    There’s no entrance fee but you have to give 1 euro to visit the crypt
    The cathedral is open daily 7.00-18.00 (weekends from 8.30)

    cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula crypt of cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula
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    Stained Glass windows St. Michaels' Cathedral

    by cadzand Written Feb 25, 2003

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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.
    Beautiful glass-stained windows accentuate the later gothic style which allowed more light to fall in to the church.

    http://www.trabel.com/brussel/brussels-ch-churchstmichael.htm

    one of the beautiful glass stained windows
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    Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral

    by martin_nl Written Nov 10, 2002

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    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.

    Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral
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    The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

    by ValbyDK Written Jul 14, 2013

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    The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula was originally built in the middle of the 11th century, but has been rebuilt many times since then. It is named after the patron saints of the city of Brussels, and is the official church of the royal family. Many royal events have taken place here, like the wedding of King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola in 1960, the funeral of King Baudouin in 1993, and the wedding of Prince Philip and Lady Mathilde in 1999.

    The cathedral is huge... Around 110 meters long, 55 meters wide, and the height of the towers are 64 meters. The interior is beautful; white and brigth, stained-glass windows, impressive pulpit, and many sculptures and decorations. The old crypt is only open on request so I didn't visit... But I paid a small fee and visited the Cathedral Treasure with many religious items on display, and I saw the remains of the 11th century Romanesque church which are exhibited in the basement.

    The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula The remains of the 11th century Romanesque church
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    The Cathedral on The Hill, Part I

    by von.otter Updated Apr 17, 2012

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    “Few cities have a cathedral in so impressive a position as St. Gudule — on a steep hill-top, with a long flight of steps at the base of its towers.”
    — from “Transatlantic Sketches” 1875 by Henry James

    IMPRESSIVE IMPRESSION Along with the grand staircase, built in 1861, the park that stretches out in front of the cathedral helps add to the open and impressive look of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudule.

    As early as the beginning of the 11th century a chapel dedicated to St. Michael stood on this site. When the relics of St. Gudula were brought to the chapel on the Treurenberg Hill in 1047, the church of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula was established.

    The look of the present church dates from the renovation that was carried out between the 13th and 15th centuries. The style was changed from Romanesque to Gothic. The most recent renovation was completed in November 1999; the following month the marriage of Belgium’s Crown Prince Philippe took place here.

    In July of 1803 a Te Deum was celebrated here with Napoleon and his wife Joséphine present. Twelve years later another Te Deum celebrated the Napoleon’s defeat at nearby Waterloo.

    Cathedral of Sts. Michael & Gudule, Bruxelles Cathedral of Sts. Michael & Gudule, Bruxelles Cathedral of Sts. Michael & Gudule, Bruxelles Cathedral of Sts. Michael & Gudule, Bruxelles Cathedral of Sts. Michael & Gudule, Bruxelles
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    The Cathedral on The Hill, Part II

    by von.otter Written Apr 18, 2012

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    “A truth that disheartens because it is true is of more value than the most stimulating of falsehoods.”
    — Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949, Belgian Nobel Prize winner for Literature, 1911)

    The beauty of the Cathedral of Saint Gudula and Saint Michael is how artists can use their talents to contribute to the celebration of the love of God for all. The use of art to express man’s love for God has a long tradition within the Roman Catholic Church. The stained glass windows, some designed by Bernard van Orley, a 16th-century court painter, are spectacular. François I of France, Philippe le Beau of Burgundy, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Philip II of Spain have been amongst those who donated the richly colored stained glass windows.

    Dominican friar Alain Arnould has been appointed by Godfried Cardinal Danneels as chaplain to artists in Brussels. This includes actors, musicians, painters and dancers. Each Sunday, between the October and 6.January, the Feast of the Epiphany, as well as between the start of Lent and Pentecost, the Masses celebrated welcome professional actors and musicians for a joyful celebration. During summer, Mass at 10 o’clock is sung by a choir. The Sunday after Saint Cecilia’s Day, the annual Mass of the Artists celebrates the artistic talents which God has given to each of us and commemorates the deceased artists of the past year.

    Each year Belgian and foreign artists are given an opportunity to exhibit their work in the Cathedral. Concerts bring together traditional and contemporary musicians to perform in this outstanding venue.

    The Cathedral’s Stations of the Cross were dramatically lighted (see photo #4); and Michael the Archangel is prominently represented (see photo #5).

    Cathedral of Saints Gudula & Michael, Bruxelles Cathedral of Saints Gudula & Michael, Bruxelles Cathedral of Saints Gudula & Michael, Bruxelles Cathedral of Saints Gudula & Michael, Bruxelles Cathedral of Saints Gudula & Michael, Bruxelles
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    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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    Interior

    by Willettsworld Written Jun 20, 2006

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    The interior of the cathedral is quite plain and bare and there are two reasons why. The first is that Protestants ransacked the church in 1579-80 and secondly items were stolen by French revolutionists in 1783.

    The Nave features statues of the 12 apostles which were created in the 17th century in Baroque style by several Brabantine sculptors. Further down the nave is the new Swallow's nest organ which was installed in 2000. It was made in Barcelona by the German organ-builder, Gerhard Grenzing, and the English architect Simon Platt. It features 4300 pipes, 61 stops and 4 keyboards. One of the cathedral's highlights is the oak pulpit built in 1699 in classic Baroque style (more on this in another tip). Other highlights include the two statues of the cathedrals saints - St Gudula and St Michael both made from gilded wood in 1912. The high altar dates from 1887 and is made of gilded and beaten copper in 13th century style by the architect De Curte and built by Lambert van Rijswijch.

    Open: 7am-7pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-7pm Sat & Sun. Admission: Free except crypt (€2,50).

    Nave with statues of the 12 apostles Pulpit built in 1699 High altar Statue of St Michael Baptismal font
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    St. Michel Cathedral

    by codrutz Updated May 28, 2006

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    The Cathedral of Saint Michel and Gudule. The first church was built in 1047 on the site of a chapel dedicated to Saint Michel. In 1226 the works began for the big cathedral and the building took two and a half centuries (!!) to complete.

    St. Michel Cathedral

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    Exterior & history

    by Willettsworld Written Jun 19, 2006

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    The Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudule is the national church of Belgium although it was only granted cathedral status as recent as 1962. It is the finest surviving example of Brabant Gothic architecture in the country. But the cathedral has an oddity and that is that Brabant architecture typically only has one tower whilst this cathedral has two and it was originally designed to have two in the 1400s. The south tower was built in 1451 whilst the north tower followed in 1480.

    There has been a church on this site since at least the 11th century when a Romanesque church once stood here dating from 1047. Remains of it can still be seen in the crypt. Work began on this church in 1225 under Henry I, Duke of Brabant and continued over a period of some 300 years.

    The facade features the glorius Last Judgement stained glass window that dates from 1528 depicting Christ awaiting saved souls. The wide steps leading up to the cathedral were designed by the architect Coppens in 1860.

    Open: 7am-7pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-7pm Sat & Sun. Admission: Free except crypt (€2,50).

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    Interior - Pulpit of truth

    by Willettsworld Written Jun 20, 2006

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    One of the highlights of the cathedral's interior is this marvellous Baroque oak pulpit that was built in 1699 by the Antwerp sculptor Hendrik-Frans Verbruggen (1665-1724). It was originally intended for the Jesuit church of St Michael in Leuven but it was donated to the cathedral after the closure and dissolution of the Jesuit Order in 1773. The pulpit's design is based on the Fall to Redemption from the bible and features life-size figures of Adam and Eve being driven out of Paradise.

    Open: 7am-7pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-7pm Sat & Sun. Admission: Free except crypt (€2,50).

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