The Saint Catherine’s Church (also known as the Eglise Sainte-Catherine and Sint-Katelijnekerk) can be considered an architectural witness of some of the many different artistic styles featured in Brussels. Located in its Lower Town, this beautiful religious building will astonish you for all its artistic features and its ruined bell tower. Moreover, right in front of the main facade you can experience a local market full of typical Belgian products.
Discover Saint Catherine’s Church and its facade
The Eglise Sainte-Catherine (Saint Catherine’s Church) is located on Place Ste-Catherine 50, just a 10 minute walk from the Grand Place. Located in the Lower Town of Brussels, the church was built in the 15th century but completely redesigned between 1854 and 1859 by the famous artist Joseph Poelaert. As you can see in the picture, the facade has a Gothic profile while the interior contains beautiful baroque artworks. In 1629 an Italian baroque bell tower was added, and it still exists in its original shape and is located aside the church. Right in front the church’s main entrance, there is a daily market where you can find typical Belgian products as such as seafood, cheeses, and local vegetables. The central square was once the city’s main fish market and still you can enjoy delicious fish dishes there.
Go inside and find all the artistic features of Eglise Sainte-Catherine’s interior
The Victorian interior will give you a sense of space and peace. Although some of the artistic features are in the highly detailed Baroque style, the church is neither full nor lacking space. At the left side of the altar, you can find a small statue of an elegant Black Madonna dating back the 14th century nestled in a wooden case. Notable features are also a Flemish pulpit, two beautiful tombs carved by Gilles-Lambert Godecharle and a portrait of Saint Catherine.
Explore nearby and find Saint John the Baptist at Beguinage
Located just a 2 minute walk from Eglise Sainte Catherine, you will find another beautiful church: Saint John the Baptist at Beguinage (Eglise St Jean Baptiste au Beguinage). This stone-clad church was built in 1676 and it is particularly notable for its Flemish Baroque features. The facade will just enchant you with its Baroque details such as its onion-shaped turrets. The interior is also Baroque and decorated with angels, cherubs and scrolls. Other notable features in the interiors are the confessional carved with allegorical figures and saints, and a statue of St. John Baptist placed in the apse. The pulpit, dating back 1757, shows St. Dominic and a heretic and it can be considered a fine example of Baroque woodcarving.
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Explore an area full of historical and artistic monuments
The area surrounding Eglise Sainte Catherine (Saint Catherine Church) is an unmissable spot during your journey in Brussels. In fact, if you like art history, here you will admire some of the rarest examples of religious architecture in the Lower Town of Brussels. Moreover, east of Saint Catherine Church you will find the Tour Noire (Black Tower) a surviving tower from the stone city walls of the 12th century. You can reach this are with the underground (Ste-Catherine stop) but I highly recommend you walk from the Grand Place in order to enjoy the old alleys of the Lower Town.
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