Basilique du Sacrê Coeur

Basilique du Sacrê Coeur (50)

Although the outlying district of Koekelberg does not have many interesting things to visit, one building that stands out from the others is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The construction of this basilica was ordered by King Leopold II in 1902 to create a place at which large congregations could come together, in response to the great growth the city was experiencing at the time. Three years later, therefore, construction of the building began under Pierre Langerock, although work was not completed until 1970. It was finished by another architect, Albert Van Huffel, as the initial design was eventually rejected on economic grounds.

What will probably strike your attention most about the basilica will probably be its 90 metre-high green bronze dome, which is visible from many points in the city. You can also go up to the top, which affords some splendid panoramic views of Brussels. 

You will also notice that the building is made from limestone and terracotta, and that its dimensions are rather impressive. Its splendid nave measures 141 metres in length and features, above the main altar, the figure of Christ on the Cross figure, surrounded by kneeling angels, which is the work of Harry Elstrom. 

Pay attention too to the beautiful stained glass windows, which help to give the church warm lighting. Remember that you can also go up to the gallery, where there is a small exhibition on the process of construction of the basilica. 

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