Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Église Saint-Cathérine, Brussels

At Place Saint Catherine in Brussels, you find the seemingly ancient church with same name. It is in very poor condition, but these signs of old age are a deception. The history of the Church does not go back hundreds of years, but is a monument created within the framework of the modern state of Belgium.

There has been a church building present by the square for over 800 years. It had its back to the old city walls, still visible some places of the city.

Nearby you find Le Tour Noire, one of the towers of the old fortifications. The present tower of Église Saint-Cathérine dates back to the original 17th century church and is, in fact, remains of the town's first fortified enclosure.

Construction of the present building started in 1854, when the nearby docks were filled in to protect the area from flooding.

Église Saint-Cathérine was designed by Joseph Poelaert, more famous for having designed the Palais de Justice, the enormous domed building by Avenue Louise, and visible from most of the city. It combines Romantic, Gothic and Renaissance influences.

Sadly Église Saint-Cathérine is in fairly poor condition and is today best known for its Black Madonna and child statue.

Église Saint-Cathérine on this map of Brussels

View Brussels on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2009 in a larger map

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