Notre Dame du Sablon, Brussels Overview

The Church of Our Blessed Lady of The Sablon, or as in French Notre Dame Du Sablon is a prominent Roman Catholic Church aging from the 15th century in the capital city of Brussels. Located in the area of high historic importance, this magnificent structure is one of the most exceptional and finest illustrations of Brabant Gothic Architecture in the country.

Ask about the best monument that depicts absolute Brabant Gothic Architecture, and Notre Dame du Sablon will be the first to be named. The church is known for 5 broad naves having pillars and columns with no capital, thus giving a vertical essence to it. The columns are glorified with 12 statues of apostles that were sculpted by the best ones in the 17th century. The 11 glass windows, designed by Samuel Coucke and Jacques Colpart, depict typical ancient gothic style with their 45-ft height, colourful decorations and intricate designs, allowing light to come in during the day. The light gives lustre to the interior on the buildings and creates a positive environment for the visitors. During the night, the large windows are lit up from inside that gives a spectacular view of the monument from outside. The pulpits, designed by Marc de Vos, rests on a base containing four sculptures that symbolizes the Evangelists - The eagle, angel, lion and ox. Two splendid chapels, also a part of this monument, were built in the 17th century by the Thur and Taxes family. One of them is Saint Ursula Chapel which was designed by Lucas Faydherbe and features some valuable sculptures and the other one made of white marble is dedicated to Saint Marcouf. In front of these chapels lies the then-residence of the Thur and Taxis family, where their remains have also been buried. 

Opposite the church lies a pond with a fountain on it and a park where benches are available to sit and relax.

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History

The beginning of construction of the church goes back to the 15th century, and it took another 100 years to complete its full construction. The calvinists partially destroyed the church and the statue of the Virgin at the end of the 16th century. The chapel remained closed for many years due to riots and the French taking over, and the restoration process of the building began in the beginning of the 19th century. From 1895 to 1912 Jules Jacques Van Ysendijck, a belgium architect, renovated the monument in such a way that it is now known for its unique and intricate architecture. He added towers of different styles, filled up the alleys with pillars and paintings. After that, from 1917 to 1937, another architect with name Francois Malfait, 4 dozen statues and sculptures to glorify the rulers and other names in the history. The church has been recently renovated again, the process of which took 14 years.

Tips

  1. Go early on weekends as it gets very crowded, especially in the evening.
  2. Wear comfortable footwear as you would do a lot of walking to nearby places.
  3. Keep your phones on silent while inside the chapel and try not to make much noise.

How to Reach

Metro: Central Station

Tram : Petit Sablon - 92, 94

Bus : Petit Sablon - 27, 95

Royal Museum of Fine Arts (200 m)
Magritte Museum (300 m)
Museum of Musical Instruments (340 m)
Coudenberg Palace ( 380 m)
Belvue Museum (420 m)
Grand Palace (1 km)

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