Cathedral of saints michel and gudule - exterior
History of Cathedral of saints michel and gudule - exterior at Brussels
A first church of Saint Michael was built around 1040 and a chapter of 12 canons was instituted. Lambert II, Count of Louvain, had the relics of Saint Gudule transferred to the church of Saint Géry. In 1200 it was restored and enlarged under Henri I of Brabant. But as early as 1226, Henry II ordered the construction of a Gothic collegiate church which was not really completed until about 1500. The nave and transept date from the 14th and 15th centuries, the facade was erected between 1470 and 1485, chapels were added to the 16th and XVIIth centuries. The collegiate church only became a cathedral in 1962. What is particularly striking in the façade is the importance of the two towers which surround the central part and the importance of the vertical lines, accentuated by the presence of the two fine turrets which flank the two towers. These two towers are attributed to Jan van Ruysbroeck who also built the tower of the town hall. The central façade comprises 3 levels: the 4 portals, 2 of which are at the base of the towers, a first level which contains a beautiful ogival canopy instead of a rose window, flanked by two windows that decorate the towers, and a second level nicely decorated with an elegant triangle topped with pine nuts. It is necessary to go around the cathedral to admire also the harmony of the construction, with the chapels, the ambulatory and the discreet archers.
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