St Michel is almost more impressive from the inside, where as the outside although imposing in size is a simple Romanesque façade. Inside is much more decorative with large vaulted ceiling and statutes along the great columns that support the structure.
This is the largest of Brussel's Cathedrals. A church has been on this site since the 9th century with the current building having been started in 1047 with the last major additions in 1519 by Duke Henry I.
Covering 12 centuries of history, this large cathedral was finished in 1047, but it was renovated in the 13Th century. The actual facade comes from the 15th century.
The most interesting details are the stained glass windows, and some vestiges of the initial construction.
The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is the Main Roman Catholic Church of Belgium and is the seat of the Archbishop of Brusels and where many of the Royal and State Ceremonies as done. the Church was renovated a few times since it was made in 1047 AD of which the Latest Design is Neo Gothic of which is closely resembles the Notre Dame of Paris. The Cathedral originally was a chapel dedicated to St Michael and in the 11 th century AD it was rep!aced by a Romanesque church which became a "collegiale church" in 1047 AD. The relics of St Gudula were transferred there. From then onwards, it became known as "the collegiale church of St Michae! and St Gudula". In February 1962, it was given cathedral status, and since then it has been the seat of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels. The Cathedral is open both for tourists and Roman Catholics (there is no admission fee for tourists unlike in other Churches in Europe). It is located about 1 kilometer away from the Grand Place.
opens: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm everyday
In Brussels we use 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.
A bit special is the fact that since ten years in a row a pair of Peregrine falcons breeds on the tower. Almost exterminated from Europe this splendid bird of prey found on our cathedral the right to sanctuary "asylum"!
This is Belgium's answer to Westminster Abbey. Even though it wasn't even granted cathedral status until the 1960s, it has, because of its status as the most important Catholic church in the country, long been used as a place of royal weddings and other nationally important events. Apart from the royal connection, the Cathedral and Westminster Abbey even look similar - white stone, twin towers and a Gothic design.
The building of the St Gudule and Michael's Cathedral started in 1226, whereas the facade dates from the 15th century.
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)
Although only granted cathedral status in 1962, Sts Michel et Gudule is the national church of Belgium. It is an excellent example of Brabant Gothic architecture. Work beagn on the cathedral in 1225 (replacing an earlier 11th century church) and took over 300 years. The two front towers were the last part to complete in the early 16th century under Charles V.
For a catholic cathedral it is surprisingly bare inside. This may be as a result of ransacking by Protestants in 1579/80 and French revolutionaries in 1783.
The flaboyant carved pulpit in thecentral aisle was installed in 1776 and is the work of Antwerp sculptor Verbruggen.
It is located on the border between the upper and the lower zone of Brussels, at the top of the hill Treurenberg. Due to its location in the capital in recent years has been used as a venue for Catholic ceremonies of national importance such as royal weddings, christenings and state funerals.
Está situada en la frontera entre la zona alta y la zona baja de Bruselas, en la cima de la colina Treurenberg. Debido a su ubicación en la capital del país, en los últimos años ha sido utilizada como lugar de celebración de ceremonias católicas de importancia nacional, tales como bodas reales, bautizos y funerales de Estado.
“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).
“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.