Brussels Protestant Church
On 1 May 1760, architect Jean Faulte was commissioned with building the court chapel of the then governor of this part of Europe, Charles of Lorraine. While its layout is based on the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Versailles, its general appearance is conspicuously reminiscent of the château at Lunéville in Lorraine, France – a way, no doubt, of making Charles feel at home in Brussels. Inside, the aisles surmounted by galleries feature tiered columns with Ionic and Corinthian capitals, in the great classical tradition of French architecture. However, it is all handled with a level of artistic licence typical of the Louis XV style, with certain details even hinting at its Louis XVI successor. In October 1804, Napoleon signed a decree giving the chapel to the Protestants. When Leopold I, who belonged to a branch of the ruling family of Saxony (in present-day Germany) that was among the first to embrace the Reformation, became the first King of the Belgians, he remained true to his ancestors’ beliefs and so designated it the Royal Chapel, thereby more or less taking the building back to its roots. Once or twice a month, the monarch attended services here, like the Dutch Princes of Orange before him. Nowadays, this glorious building – besides continuing to serve as a place of worship – regularly plays host to a knowledgeable audience of concertgoers, who come here mainly for performances of Baroque music. This bringing together of musicians echoes one of the building’s original functions as Charles of Lorraine’s court chapel. (Listed 20/11/2001)
A guide will be on hand to provide further information.
Sat. & Sun., 13:00 to 18:00
Rue du Musée/Museumstraat 2, Brussels
Accessible with assistance