After visiting the Grand Place (see previous posting) on Monday, May 28, 2012 we walked up the hill in a north-easterly direction and soon found ourselves on the steps of The Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula, informally known as Belgium’s national cathedral. It is the home of the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and most royal marriages and state funerals are held here. Saints Michael and Gudula are the two co-patron saints of Brussels.
A Romanesque church stood at this spot about a thousand years ago. Most of the present church was built in the Gothic style during the 13th century. The west facade dates from the 15th century. The last major renovation was between 1983 and 1999.
We visited 20 churches on our European vacation. This was the 20th.
I took so many photos of the church that I will concentrate on the exterior shots in this posting, the interior in the next posting which will be followed by the stained glass windows and, finally, the statues found inside the church.
The next day we caught the city sightseeing bus a block away from the cathedral and toured the eastern district of the city known as the European Quarter before looping back to the central district and passing the cathedral about an hour and forty minutes later. We then went on another loop touring the western part of the city and looped back again, passing within one block of the cathedral another hour and a half later.
We’ll go inside the Cathedral in my next posting.