The St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Michel or Sint-Michiels Kathedraal) in Brussels is named for the patron saints of Belgium and is the primary church of the country.
History of Brussels Cathedral
After the Cathedral of St. Michael was completed circa 1047, the Duke of Brabant transferred the relics of Saint Gudula here. Very little is known about this daughter of a 7th-century Carolingian nobleman, but her relics are still sheltered in the cathedral.
In the 13th century, the cathedral was renovated in the Gothic style. The choir was constructed between 1226 and 1276. The facade was completed in the mid 15th century.
Today, the Cathedral of St. Michael and Gudula is the episcopal see of the Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels and therefore the leading Catholic church in Belgium. All royal weddings and christenings take place here.
What to See at Brussels Cathedral
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the interior are the stained glass windows, designed by various artists. Those by Bernard van Orley, a 16th-century court painter, are the most spectacular.
The window of The Last Judgment, at the bottom of the nave, is illuminated from within in the evening.
The remains of an earlier, 11th-century Romanesque church that was on the site can be glimpsed through glass apertures set into the floor.
Quick Facts on Brussels Cathedral
|Names:||Brussels Cathedral · Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||50.847828° N, 4.360304° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Brussels Cathedral|
- Fodor's Belgium, 3rd ed.
- Frommer's Brussels
Map of Brussels Cathedral
Below is a location map and aerial view of Brussels Cathedral. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.