Sunday, August 4, 2013

Eglise St-Nicolas, Brussels

The Church of St. Nicholas in Brussels was built right near the market square. Since St. Nicholas is patron of merchants, the church fits in nicely. The site had a church since the late 1100s. That church was damaged by French invaders in 1695. Restoration took until the 1950s when a new Gothic-style facade was added along with repairs to the interior of the church.

Eglise St-Nicolas, Brussels

Detail over the door

An exterior statue, of Charity?

The interior is especially interesting since from the nave the high altar looks like it hooks off to the left. It's believed the church was built this way to avoid a stream.

Main altar shot from the side to try and straighten out things

The high altar in the east end of the church

The ornate pulpit is nice but not as amazing as others we had seen in Belgium.


Other side of the pulpit

The church has several side altars. Two Baroque-style altars are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Nicholas. A simpler altar (with a nice halo) is for St. Therese.

Our Lady altar

St. Nicholas altar

A small altar with St. Therese

The organ is set in front of a magnificent window dedicated to Our Lady.

Our Lady of the Organists?

A fine statue of St. Barbara is also here.

St. Barbara

A large golden reliquary in the back has the remains of the Gorcum Martyrs.

Reliquary of the Gorcum Martyrs

Who were the Gorcum Martyrs?

On the evening of June 26, 1572, the town of Gorcum (modern day Gorinchem) was attacked by a Calvinist group called the Watergeuzen or Sea-Beggars. They took prisoner fifteen religious who were tormented. On July 6 they were taken to Brielle where four other Catholic priests joined them in prison. They appeared individually before Count Lumney van der Marck who demanded that they renounce the supremacy of the pope and deny the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. All nineteen refused to submit to the Count's demands and were hung on July 9, 1572. They were beatified by Pope Clement X on November 14, 1675, and canonized by Pius IX on June 29, 1867. Their feast day is July 9, the date of their martyrdom.

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