Saint Nicholas Church: An Antique Church In Lower Town, Brussels

Saint Nicholas Church: An Antique Church In Lower Town, Brussels
Contributing Writer
| 2 min read

Walking along the streets of Brussels (Bruxelles) will astonish you because of the high level of art and historical contents just waiting to be discovered. The Lower Town will appear to you as a tangled lattice of tiny streets, alleys, little squares and beautiful buildings.

At a 2-minute walk from the Grand Place, taking Rue au Beurre you will reach a picturesque spot that is surely worth your visit: the Eglise Saint-Nicolas (Saint Nicholas Church). Besides the beautiful church, you will also have the opportunity to explore some of the surrounding alleys where you can find shops, bars and the Biscuiterie Dandoy, a traditional Belgian butter biscuits shop.

Experience a nice walk along the Lower Town

saint nicholas church: an antique church in lower town, brussels | experience a nice walk along the lower town

The picture above shows one of the alleys (Rue de Tabora) of the tangled system of streets crossing each other in the Lower Town of Brussels. Indeed the Eglise Saint Nicolas (Saint Nicholas Church) is located in between: Rue au Beurre, Petite Rue au Beurre, Rue de Tabora and Rue du Marché aux Herbes. Before discovering this interesting religious monument, you can enjoy a pleasant walk along all these picturesque tiny roads.

At Rue au Beurre, you can buy some butter biscuits at Maison Dandoy. The Biscuiterie Dandoy first opened in 1829 in Rue Marché aux Herbes and then moved in 1858 to Rue au Beurre 31. This second location is still open and awaits you to experience a wide variety of refined traditional butter biscuits. In Brussels, sweets are more than just food, you will often find biscuits and chocolates arranged in beautiful boxes placed in shops looking more like jewelry than sweets.

In the vicinity, you can also have a look at the Neo-Classical facade of the Stock Exchange or try the famous Belgian fries at the Friterie Tabora in Rue de Tabora 2.

Admire Eglise Saint Nicolas, one of the oldest churches in Brussels

saint nicholas church: an antique church in lower town, brussels | admire eglise saint nicolas, one of the oldest churches in brussels

Eglise Saint Nicolas lays on the site of a previous market church built during the 12th century but gravely damaged in the 1695 French Bombardment. In fact, in 1714, the bell tower collapsed because of a cannonball that struck an interior pillar. This church was renovated in 1956 with a new Neo-Gothic facade.

The church is one of the oldest church in Brussels and it is named after Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of the merchants who used to live in this area. This church is also called Saint Nicolas de la Bourse for its proximity to the Stock Exchange building. Once you get inside you will immediately notice its most picturesque feature: its oblique navies. This untypical shape is due to the presence of a water stream running through when the church was built.

Enjoy an architectural gem full of artworks

saint nicholas church: an antique church in lower town, brussels | enjoy an architectural gem full of artworks

As you can see in the picture above, the Saint Nicholas Church features many artworks and details that are surely worth your visit. In fact, the church contains choir stalls dating from 1381 displaying the the Saint Nicholas story, artworks by Bernard van Orley and a beautiful Virgin and the Child by Peter Paul Rubens. Another interesting feature are the relics of the “martyrs of Gorkum”, kept in a shrine in the church since 1868. These martyrs were a group of priests and monks killed for their belief in Jesus Christ and the authority of the Pope in 1572.

Explore the Lower Town and all its beauty

In the Lower Town of Brussels everything is close and easy to reach, you just have to walk and start your journey through all the wonders that an old city like Brussels has to offer. Admire the Eglise Saint Nicolas (Saint Nicholas Church) and after immersing into the history of art, experience all the shops, cafes and restaurants in the alleys nearby.

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Meet Giuseppe, an Italian musician and avid traveler. Born in Sicily, he soaked in the rich history and breathtaking landscapes before moving to Rome at 17 to pursue Jazz music studies, culminating...Read more

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