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Église Saint Nicolas

Église Saint Nicolas (9)

This small church, which is devoted to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of merchants, dates from the twelfth century and is an early Gothic style place of worship that was seriously damaged in the French bombardments of 1695. It appears that, in the intense destruction, a cannonball became lodged in one of the columns of the church and stayed there until 1714, when the bell tower also gave way and collapsed. The fact is that the reconstruction process took its time, because, although several projects were considered over the years, it was not until 1956 that the new Gothic-style facade was added.

You will also notice that it is rather gloomy inside, although your attention will be caught by features such as the choir, with its stalls from 1381, decorated with medallions that tell the legend of Saint Nicholas. The main altar, the baldachin and the imperial robe, for their part, are the work of Corneille van Nerven. Notice, also, that the chapel was arranged at an angle in order to negotiate the course of the River Senne, which is now under the tarmack.

The most outstanding works in this church, however, without a shadow of a doubt, are a gilded copper reliquary that dates from 1868 and the painting “The Virgin and Child”, which is a beautiful small painting attributed to Peter Paul Rubens.

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