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Brussels

Excursion tour in Brussels. Top architecture - monuments, castles, temples and palaces


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Let’s continue our virtual walk in Brussels and its most prominent architecture monuments. This time, we will focus on such breath-taking sights as Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Royal Palace, Royal Palace of Laeken, Saint Jacques sur Coudenberg and many others. For many people, the cultural and historical vibe of these monuments defines the atmosphere of not only Brussels, but also Belgium in general. We will make a virtual 3D tour to every monument, look at it from a bird’s eye view, and browse the most interesting facts that have defined the history of Brussels. The photo gallery and maps are the cherry on the cake!

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, Brussels

» The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is one of the main attractions of Brussels, and the clearest example of Gothic architecture.
» The building of the cathedral is a symmetrical composition with two towers, within which there is a long staircase opening onto the terrace that is 64 meters high. The terrace offers a magnificent view of the city.
» The Cathedral has four doors decorated with wrought-reliefs and statues of saints. There is a huge stained glass above the main entrance.
» Stained glasses decorating the cathedral were created in the 16th century by Jan Haq and in 18-19th century by Jean-Baptiste Kaproner.
» The cathedral houses the mausoleum of the Belgian national hero Frederic de Merode.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Brussels

» The Catholic Basilica of the Sacred Heart is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was inspired by the eponymous basilica in Paris.
» This shrine is the sixth area of the Roman Catholic Church in the world.
» The church is the large structure with two towers and a green copper dome towering 89 meters above the ground. The length of the building is almost 165 meters.
» In total the church can accommodate up to 2,000 people.
»  The basilica houses a restaurant, a Catholic radio station, theater, two museums, and a place of training cavers and climbers.

Royal Palace, Brussels

» The Royal Palace is the official residence of the Belgian monarch situated in the heart of the capital.
» At present the royal family palace is used mainly as a venue for formal events.
» Every summer, the Royal Palace is traditionally open to the public. You can get inside the palace and see its galleries and chambers for free.
» Throne Hall with its grand decor, a wonderful mirror room, the ceiling of which is decorated with winged scarab beetles, and the Imperial Room with gorgeous golden flower pots, where plants of eleven colors, one for each province of Belgium, are the most notable places.
» The palace also houses the museum of Bellevue, which was once a hotel accommodating many famous people. Now that’s the museum of history of Belgium.

Royal Palace of Laeken, Brussels

» The Royal Palace of Laeken is the residence of the Belgian royal family, where it currently resides.
» The building of the palace was built in 1781-1785 in the style of Classicism.
» The Royal Palace of Laeken is also famous for its territory boasting a magnificent park, a lake, the Royal Conservatory, a golf course and various pavilions.
» The park has two buildings unusual for Belgium style. Those are the Chinese pavilion and the Japanese tower that appeared here after Leopold II visited the World's Fair in Paris in 1900; there he saw pavilions of different countries, so he wanted to decorate his park.
» Opposite the park there is the neo-Gothic Church of Our Lady in Laeken with the crypt serving as the burial place of the royal family.
» Unfortunately, the palace itself is closed to the public, but the park, pavilions and conservatory are open for everyone.

Saint Jacques sur Coudenberg, Brussels

» Saint Jacques sur Coudenberg was built in the second half of the 18th century in neoclassical style. It looks a lot like a palace or ancient Greek temple.
» The building is decorated with a wooden tower that serves as a belfry. It has four bells.
» Balustrades of the cathedral are decorated with three large statues; the statue of St. James can be seen in the center.
» Between French conquests the church was converted into a Temple of Reason, and later - in the Temple of the Law. However, in 1802 it was re-consecrated as a Catholic.
» Today, Saint Jacques sur Coudenberg is the part of an ensemble of nine neoclassical buildings surrounding the perimeter of the Royal Square. The equestrian statue of Godefroid de Bouillon, who led the first Crusade, is in the center of the square.

Church of St. Catherine, Brussels

Location on the map:
Facts: » The building of the Church of St. Catherine was constructed in 1854-1874 years. Its facade combines Gothics with Romanesque features.
» The interior is very bright due to the white plaster on the walls; it’s designed in neo-Renaissance style.
» The belfry standing apart from the temple is actually much older than the Church of St. Catherine. It has been preserved from the old church, which stood on that site previously.
» The main altar of the church is decorated with painting The Assumption of St. Catherine.
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