Cathedral : Michelin's recommendations
Masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the largest monument in Belgium, visible from many kilometres away, the cathedral originally housed the statue of Our Lady of the Tree (as it was found on the branch of a tree after the Norman invasion), which was destroyed in 1580 (there is a copy in Notre Dame du Sablon in Brussels). The tower is the jewel of the monument. Light, thin and beautifully sculpted, it reaches 123 metres up with a peal of 47 bells, and it is a stone miracle. This belltower, "straight as a cry, lovely as a mast, light as a candle" (Verhaeren), was built in a century. The second belltower remains unfinished. A bulbous cupola from the Renaissance period tops the crosspoint of the transept. The interior is 117 metres long and 65 metres wide at the transept, and is exceptionally large. It has seven aisles and 125 pillars (without capitals) The majestic coldness of the place is warmed gently by numerous works of art. See, in the central nave, the pulpit sculpted by Michel van der Voort (1713). You can also see several paintings by Rubens, including one of his best versions of the Assumption (above the main altar), the Erection of the Cross (left arm of the transept), the Descent from the Cross (right arm of the transept) and, in the second deambulatory chapel, the Resurrection.
Opening hours :
- Mon-Sat 10am-5pm (Sat 3pm), Sun 1pm-4pm - closed 1 Jan and during offices
Read also our reports on: Cathedral