Tuesday, September 04, 2012

THE BASILICA OF KOEKELBERG (BRUSSELS)

When you have guests from abroad, of course you show them all the important spots of your city. Which I did with my friends Claudie and Pierre from Southern France. I have to say, I had never been in this enormous church, I only knew it from outside so I discovered something new to me too.

The church, on Koekelberg hill, is a landmark on the Brussels skyline. It is the largest building in Art Deco style in the world, at 89 m (292 ft) high and 164.5 m (540 ft) long (outside length). The cupola platform affords an excellent city panoramic view of Brussels. The central nave is 141 m (463 ft) long, and at its widest the building is 107 m (351 ft). The cupola has a diameter of 33 m (108 ft). The church accommodates 3500 people.

Symbolically King Leopold II laid the first stone of the basilica in 1905 during the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Belgian independence. The construction was halted by the two World Wars and finished only in 1969.

This enormous building houses Catholic Church celebrations, as well as conferences, exhibitions, a restaurant with a theatre and dancing floor, a Catholic radio station,  and two museums, which we haven't seen.

The building combines reinforced concrete with terracotta layering, bricks, and dimension stone. Modern stained glass windows represent the life of Jesus

More about the Basilica you can read here.



When you are in front of the building you suddenly feel very small !





Views from both sides



and the front with the main entrance.



From the church you have a wonderful view to Brussels




I was rather surprised to read this sign near the entrance to the church ! A theatre in a church ???



and even more surprised when we entered the church and were welcomed by this cook ! This has never happened to me before in no cathedral. To the right was the entrance to the restaurant and to the left of the cook the entrance to the cathedral !



We first had a look into the restaurant, which was very beautiful ! We saw the red curtain of the theatre and the dancing floor in the middle.

Then we entered the cathedral



Climbing up the stairs for visitors, not the official entrance of the church, we thought it was huge !





Some views on the ceiling












and of the church itself



The stained glass windows were absolutely gorgeous, for the first time I saw very modern looking faces of religious themes. Here is just one of them.

We all were very impressed by this huge building which from outside looks a little bit like a mosque.

 This is a brochure of the church in several languages

12 comments:

ladyfi said...

Wow - that basilica is just magnificent!

Fun60 said...

Although I have visited Brussels I have not been to the Basilica. I feel I have really missed out. It looks amazing.

Stewart M said...

Nice pictures - I would not have picked that the completed building is younger than me!!

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

jabblog said...

What an amazing building and how nice that it is used for so many things.

Gracie said...

Wow....stunning building!
Isn't it funny? when you have to show someone around it's like you discover new things yourself that you didn't know before, it's as you see them with fresh eyes and it always surprise me.

Gary said...

Great building,especially novel with the restaurant and theater. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It is magnificent and certainly not your typical cathedral -- how interesting that they welcome tourists (and make some money from them)...Fascinating post and a great place to take your real-life company as well as your virtual visitors~

Trotter said...

Hi Gattina! It has been a long absence, but things have been a bit hard: father 95, mother almost 91 doing radiotherapy, wife broke right elbow and I’m consuming some much needed holidays to take care of all this...

Fabuous cathedral!!

As far as Blogtrotter Two is concerned, it seems nobody is interested in St. Kitts, so maybe I should try something else. Anyhow, enjoy and have a great week or better a vacation, if still available!!!

Trotter said...

Fabulous!! With a resto and a theatre, even more...

A Lady's Life said...

ISN'T IT WONDERFUL TO VISIT PLACES YOU HAVEN'T IN YOUR OWN AREA?
THAT'S WHAT WE DID TOO.
THE BASILICA IS AWESOME!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Catherdals and Churches lend themselves to performances, also most of the cathedrals I have visited in the UK now have cafes attached to them, a good source of income.

Joyful said...

Beautiful! I like the photo of you and your friend sitting in front of the basilica. Have a wonderful weekend.

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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