"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on September 2, 2016 by Sioux under General


Spending half a day at Mini-Europe didn’t leave me much time to see many other sights but, amongt others seen from the bus or while walking around, I managed to spend time at two famous Brussels landmarks. 

The National Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic Minor Basilica and parish church in Brussels. The church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart, and inspired by the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur in Paris. Symbolically King Leopold II laid the first stone of the basilica in 1905 during the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Belgian independence. 

The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is a Roman Catholic

church in Brussels. Given cathedral status in 1962, it has since been the co-cathedral of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels, together with St. Rumbold’s Cathedral in Mechelen. A chapel dedicated to St. Michael was probably built on the Treurenberg hill as early as the 9th century. In the 11th century it was replaced by a Romanesque  church. 

And then it was time to say farewell to Brussels and head for the next stop on my journey – Munich.


I suspect I mentioned in my Paris blog that I was heading from Paris to Munich, but no, I went via Brussels – how could I not!


A good friend to spend time with, divine chocolate, the best twice-fried frites and excellent beer is not to be missed!


Farewell Brussels – I will be back!   

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Exotic fruits
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IMG_8763 LR (1 of 1) National Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg, Brussels
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Construction was halted by the two World Wars and was eventually

finished in 1969. Belonging to the Metropolitan Archbishop of

Mechelen-Brussels, it is one of the ten largest Roman Catholic

churches – by area – in the world.


Located in the Parc Elisabeth atop the Koekelberg Hill in Brussels’

Koekelberg municipality, the church is popularly known as the Koekelberg Basilica.


The massive brick and concrete reinforced church features two thin towers and a green copper dome that rises 89 meters above the ground, dominating the northwestern skyline of Brussels.    

In 1047, Lambert II, Count of Leuven founded a chapter in this church and organized the transportation of the relics of the martyr St. Gudula, housed before then in Saint Gaugericus Church on Saint-Géry Island. The patron saints of the church, St. Micha a Romanesqueel and St. Gudula, are also the patron saints of the city of Brussels. In the thirteenth century, Henry I, Duke of Brabant ordered two round towers to be added to the church. Henry II, Duke of Brabant instructed the building of a Gothic collegiate church in 1226. The choir was constructed between 1226 and 1276. It took about 300 years to complete the entire church, and was completed just before the reign of the emperor Charles V commenced in 1519.   

At the end of the nineties, Brussels ornithologists discovered a couple of

peregrine falcons hibernating on top of the towers of the St. Michael and

St. Gudula Cathedral in the centre of Brussels. In 2001, ornithologists of

the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) in association with

the Fonds d’Intervention pour les Rapaces installed a laying-nest on the edifice in an attempt to encourage nest-building.

This laying-nest was never used, but in the spring of 2004, a pair of falcons nested on a balcony on top of the cathedral’s northern tower. At the beginning of March, the female laid three eggs. As a result of watching the three chicks perform acrobatic feats on the cathedral’s gargoyles at the end of May 2004, the project “Falcons for everyone” was developed and installed cameras with a live video stream on their website.  


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2 responses to “Brussels – sightseeing on the final day”

  1. jackie says:

    wow Sue these are awesome what gorgeous buildings and that dog just melts your heart – awesome travels 🙂

  2. Pauline Smith says:

    Interesting reading of the Falcons and I love the little character holding a pot of cacti (!!) .
    Looking forward to reading more about your travels but I am assuming that you are working now?

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