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Places to Visit in Brussels, Belgium
Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula
The beautiful Gothic Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula is situated at Treurenberg hill, which lies between the lower and the upper town. The Cathedral is the national church of Belgium and it is here that royal weddings and funerals take place. Though dating from the 12th century, the church was only granted cathedral status in 1962.A chapel dedicated to St Michael, patron saint of Brussels, is believed to have existed here since the 8th century. In the 11th century the Duke of Brabant, Lambert II, had a Romanesque church built on the site and in 1047 the relics of St Gudula where transferred here, thus it became the church of St Michael and St Gudula. At the beginning of the 13th century, Henry I, Duke of Brabant commissioned the renovation of the church. This period coincides with the appearance of the Gothic style in Belgium. Work began in 1225 and over a period of 300 years the building was enlarged and transformed into the gothic church we see today it is one of finest examples of Brabant Gothic architecture.The interior of the Cathedral is not as decorative as one would usually expect of a Gothic Cathedral, however its simplicity allows you to appreciate the beauty of Gothic architecture, drawing your attention to the building columns and arches. Victor Hugo described this gothic marvel as the purest flowering of the Gothic style.
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