Monday, October 26, 2015


Or some of it since Brussels is teeming with ancient churches I presume, having been conceived by a chapel built on an island at around 580 [Wikipedia] although officially founded 400 years later in 979 when the St. Gaugericus Chapel became the repository of the holy St. Gudula's mortal remains [Wikipedia again].

In 1047, the relics were moved to a bigger church that would, in 1962, become the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula [Wikipedia more], and today a treasure trove of religious artifacts and No. 1 in my hit list of to-shoot in Brussels.

I climbed up a hill from there in search of my No. 2, the Iglese de la Notre-Dame du Sublon, another church built in 1400s over a 13th century chapel made famous by the theft of Antwerp's "Our Lady on the Little Stick" and thus originated today's annual Ommegang procession in honor of that great religious robbery. 

On the way back, I stumbled on the Iglese de la Chapelle, a 13th century church where the remains of the painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder and relics of the saint Boniface of Brussels were interred, where some of the work of the the architects/sculptors Jerome Duquesnoy and Lucas Faydherbe are displayed, where I chanced upon a church of beers, one of Brussels' many, where I bought some bottles to take home.

But to the Chapelle de la Madeleine goes the distinction of the first Belgian church I have ever photographed, unintended though, as I happened to pass through it as I walked to my hotel, almost not there after it was partially demolished in behalf of the Brussel-Centraal, almost perfectly restored to its 15th century glory, my jump-off to the Grand Place which being again lost in map translation bought me to the Iglese de Notre-Dame de Secours, circa 17th century, my gateway to the Grand Place, which brought me to the Cathedral, to Sublon, to the Chapelle, and to the street musicians of Mont des Arts.

To them all churches I offer my early morning foray to the Grand Place, the branded Belgian chocolates I sampled before leaving, from a Euro each to free, from Godiva, Neuhaus, and Corne Port Royal, and the last seven glasses of Belgian beer I will perhaps ever have.


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