visits / exhibition

National Basilica of the Sacred Heart

King Leopold II wanted Brussels to have a religious building that would surpass the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris. Although the foundation stone was laid in 1905, the current building was not consecrated until 1951. The Koekelberg Basilica – a monument dedicated to the peace that was restored following the Great War – is the fifth largest church in the world. Visiting it is a unique experience. This is one of the most fascinating and imposing Art Deco buildings in Western Europe and is the pièce de résistanceof its creator, Ghent architect Albert van Huffel. Its magnificent copper dome rises to a height of 90 metres and weighs no less than 43,000 tonnes, almost five times the total weight of the Eiffel Tower in Paris! The interior is just as impressive: the use of terracotta to cover the concrete and the ever-changing play of light from the stained-glass windows create an enigmatic world of refined colours. The monumental Art Deco staircase is both an attractive complement to the rest of the building and a sublime achievement in decorative architecture, while no one can fail to be impressed by the artworks, including pieces by George Minne, Joan Miró and Constant Permeke. Some adorn the church, while others are housed in the two museums on site, alongside a major collection of religious silverware. The panoramic viewpoint, located 52.8 metres above the ground, gives visitors a stunning 360° vista of Brussels and the surrounding area.

Guided tours:
Sun.: 13:30, 14:30, 15:30
Sun.: 13:00, 14:00, 15:00

As well as permanent exhibitions of artworks at the Black Sisters Museum and the Modern Religious Art Museum, relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux will be on display in the basilica for two weeks from 23 September (open from 14:00 to 16:00).

Admission to the ground floor is free but there is a charge to access the 1st floor and panorama.

Practical information

Sun. 13:00 to 18:00

Parvis de la Basilique/Basiliekvoorplein 1 – Koekelberg

Advance booking not required

Accessible with assistance

Accessible with assistance