After taking pictures of the beautiful exterior of the Church of our Lady on the Sablon we came back the next day a bit earlier with a lot more sunshine. I'm so glad we did, the interior of the Church is a little dark because renovations are now taking place inside so really we only saw half a church. The highlight for me was the aspe with its magnificent seven windows telling the story of the life of the Virgin Mary. This is pictured in the upper windows, the lower ones are of the Patron Saints drawn with the coat of arms of the donors. The Church has a legend which tells of the Statue of Our Lady who previously was in a Church in Antwerp but because the people of the city no longer paid attention to her and lacked devotion she was brought to Brussels. The pious people of the Church re named her the Queen of Heaven and believed she had miraculous powers. I don't know if any of this is true but I did buy a post card of her from the little shop and before leaving offered her a little prayer.
The legend has it that the people of Antwerp didn't pay any attention to the statue of Maria so it was decided that the statue should be taken to Brussels instead. After it had been restored it was safely placed on a boat, which was, due to legend, moved forward by means of angels breath providing wind. When in Brussels the statue was placed in a newly built chapel on the Horse Market. This is said to have happened in 1348 when the Black Death was on its hight of killing power, so the people started to venerate the statue to get some relief in their dispair.
Nowadays we can see the picture of the statue on the special candles used to commemorate our dead.
Notre Dame du Sablon is a beautiful Church in the antiques quarter of Brussels. Inside there are some colourful glass windows which are really beautiful.
I like the whole area up here, The Sablon, there are some great shops to explore (fantastic chocolate shops ... oh and Antiques!), nice bars and the view of the city - preferably in the fog on a winter's day - is great as well.
This church was commissioned in the 1400's. The outside is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, and while the inside is not spectacular, the stained glass windows are well worth a look. There is also a nice park outside the church, which occasionally holds an antique market.
The Sablon squares have a very nice church which you should see. However, Sablon is also well known for its chocolate and antique shops.
The top chocolatiers are located here. Go, have a look and taste! it's really delicious.
Big names are Godiva, Pierre Marcolini, Neuhaus and more...
The Sablon square is a very charming place. It reminds me a little bit of Bruges in fact. So if you're in Brussels and have no time to visit Bruges, visit Sablon instead !
... and also: there's this very nice blog by an employee of one of the top Belgium chocolatiers... it gives the inside story, really fun. See francescochocolatiers.blogspot.com
Work on this lovely little church was first started in 1304 with financial aid from the city's archers, and in 1348 it recieved a statue of the Virgin Mary from Antwerp which made the Virgin cult blossom as the statue was said to have healing properties, and a 16th century expansion became necessary. Ever since then the church has been one of the major examples of the Brussels version of late Gothic architecture. The famous annual Ommegang procession (see local tip) now starts here.
This area of Brussels used to be a large sandy plain. A small chapel existed here before the church we can see today. When a miracle-making statue of the Virgin was brought from Antwerp to this chapel in the XIV century, more and more crowds rallied here, so it was decided to tear it down and build a new sumptuous church in the then fashionable Brabant Gothic style.
Our Lady of the Sandbank is considered by many, including myself, as the most beautiful church in Brussels. Towerless and not overwhelming in size, it is a really charming and sheltering place. The surrounding area is also amongst the most appealing in the city.
The church has been hidden behing scaffolding for many years, but now the main portal and the façade in front of the Petit Sablon have finally been unveiled.
The Church of Our Lady on the Sablon, built in 1304, is considered to be the most beautiful Gothic church in Belgium.
According to a legend, a woman called Beate Soetkens brought a miraculous statue here in 1348.
Often the Flemish names seems to be overlooked so I hope you don't mind if I add them at random. I am pretty sure it must be confusing for any visitor this bilingualism. Believe me if you are not from Brussels, it even is to us :)
This nice church you can find on the Sablon/Zavel and is along with the Saint Goedele Saint Michaels cathredral one of the two significant remainders of the Brabant Gothic. It was build on a kind of sandy hill (sand = zavel).
At Christmas time the whole square in front of the church is decorated with little lamps in the trees. I like this maybe more then the kitsch decoration on the Grand Place :_
Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon is situated on famous Sablon Square just a minute from everything. The construction of this great gothic church was finished in XVIth century. On the opposite side (the place I took this photo) is the Park of the Petit sablon – one of the most romantic places in Brussels (locals told me that) especially ideal for those falling in love!
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