Église Sanite Catherine

Église Sanite Catherine (21)

The Church of Santa Catherine stands in the square of the same name, although unfortunately all that is left of the original fifteenth-century church is the Baroque tower. What you can see today is therefore a building that was constructed between 1854 and 1859 by the architect Joseph Poelaert, who opted for a blend of styles and was also inspired by the church of Saint Eustace in Paris. 

Once inside, the most important element you will encounter are an image of a black Madonna that dates from the fourteenth century, and the picture “Saint Catherine at the Gates of Heaven”, which was painted by De Crayer. Pay attention too to its beautiful pulpit and to the two impressive sarcophaguses, which are the work of Gilles-Lambert Godecharle. 

The zone in which the church is located, for its part, has been devoted to Saint Catherine since the thirteenth century, although the square by the same name was not built until 1870, when the dock that had originally occupied the site had dried up. Originally, the zone had been the location of both the old port and docks, and the city’s fish market. 

Even today, you can see several Flemish Renaissance-style facades around the square, although its most striking feature is the large number of restaurants you will come across. Even though most of them are, in fact, a little expensive, we recommend you pay a visit to the famous La Belle Maraichère, at number 11, where you can enjoy some delicious seafood.

Lastly, take a walk around the church, the back of which features the Tour Noire, or Black Tower, which is part of the few remains of the original wall of the old medieval city.    

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