The church of Notre Dame du Sablon (Our Lady of Sablon) is one of the finest remaining examples of Brabant Gothic architecture in Belgium. Located in one of the most elegant neighbourhoods of the European capital, it shows how wealthy this territory was during the Spanish domination period.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHURCH
The church has an opulent and elegant style, very characteristic from the Brabant Gothic. It comprises 5 naves separated by round pillars. A church was first erected here in 1304 when the guild of crossbowmen was granted permission to build a chapel to Our Lady on this sandy hill..
The major renovation of the church of Our Lady of Sablon arrived in the fifteenth century with the aristocracy.
Among the side chapels, special mention should be made to the Saint-Maclou chapel, from 1690, decorated in white marble, typical from the Baroque style. Also worth a visit is the chapel of the Tour and Taxis family, from 1540, where the remains of the family are laid to rest.
The interior decoration dates back from the Counter-Reformation, mid-seventeenth century. The pulpit and the statues are of special interest.
The interior consists of 11 magnificent stained glass windows, 15 metres high, thus allowing the light to come in, a feature of the Gothic style.
THE LEGEND OF THE CHURCH OF NOTRE DAME
Legend has it that a girl from Antwerp had a vision of the Virgin Mary, who instructed her to take her statue to Brussels. The girl carried the statue of the Virgin to Brussels down the Senne river by boat and gave it to the crossbowmen’s chapel, which rapidly became a place of pilgrimage.
Another legend has it that someone stole the statue of St. Hubert from the Church of Our Lady of Sablon to take it to Antwerp. Once the thief was caught, the statue was placed back in its original place in 1348, where it remains since then.
THE MUD FROM SABLON, A SYMBOL OF BRUSSELS
The Sablon neighbourhood is a smart link between the upper and the lower town. It has a special personality, which makes it different from the rest of the city. Here we can find great houses and great talents. In summertime, the Sablon is well known for its terraces, whereas in wintertime it is famous for its lighting. It is a must-see place for your holiday in Brussels, together with the Cathedral and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Good restaurants, comic shops, the best chocolate shops in Brussels and even a Mercedes-Benz boutique where you can watch the best brand models.
Discover the Notre Dame du Sablon with the Free Tour in Brussels.
- Free admission
- Monday to Friday: 9:00 to 18:30.
- Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00.
Place du Grand Sablon, 1000 Brussels.
HOW TO GET TO THE NOTRE DAME DU SABLON
- Metro: Louise 10 minutes / 15 minutes Gare Centrale
- Tram Petit Sablon, lines 92 and 94.
- Bus: Petit Sablon, lines 27 and 95.
SOME PLACES NEAR NOTRE DAME DU SABLON
- Grand Place (1.1 Km)
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (209 m)
- Magritte Museum (309 m)
- Museum of Musical Instruments (346 m)
- Coudenberg Palace (377 m)
- Belvue Museum (427 m)