visits / exhibition
Royal Church of Sainte-Marie/Sint-Maria
In 1844, architect Louis Van Overstraeten won the competition to design a church on the tracé royal, the route linking the Royal Palace of Brussels to the Palace of Laeken/Laken. This talented Ghent architect, who died at the age of 31 before the work was finished, created a building in the Romano-Byzantine style, based on a central octagon surrounded by apsidal chapels. A magnificent dome, which rests on pendentives and is supported by clustered pillars, tops the building off. Using metals and light roofing materials reduced the weight of the dome, which the architect punctuated with oculi at the base of the lantern, and which is surrounded by a series of windows at eaves level. Gothic-style flying buttresses reinforce the structure. Construction work began in 1845 and the church was opened on 15 August 1853 as a tribute to Queen Louise-Marie, making it the first truly eclectic building in Brussels. Inside, the decoration and original furnishings form a remarkably unified example of Byzantine art. (Listed 09/11/1976)
In cooperation with Église et Tourisme Bruxelles/Kerk en Toerisme Brussel.
Permanent exhibition: Ecumenism in Brussels presenting the Christian churches in Brussels.
Sat. 10:00 to 17:00 & Sun. 14:00 to 18:00
Place de la Reine/Koninginneplein – Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek
Advance booking not required