Cathédrale des St-Michel et Ste-Gudule

Address: Parvis Ste Gudule, Brussels, 1000, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 217 83 45

- Free


Commanding city cathedral 300 years in the making.

Named after Saint Gudule — the daughter of a count who lived around 650AD, tended the sick and poor, and was famous for her dedication to prayer — Brussels’s cathedral is an awesome sight, and the venue for royal weddings. Work on it started in 1226 and took 300 years to complete. Inside, you can’t miss the magnificent pulpit, carved entirely from oak, and featuring Adam and Eve are being chased from paradise. Also of note are the statues of the twelve apostles that line the nave sculpted by Jérôme Dusquesnoy the Younger (his dad made the present-day copy of Mannekin Pis), and some splendid Renaissance stain-glass windows, the most famous of which stands in the north transept and features Charles V and his wife, Isabelle of Portugal, kneeling in front of the Holy Sacrament.

Left of the choir is the Blessed Sacrament of the Miracle chapel, which contains the church’s 16th-century treasury (open: Mon—Fri 10am—12.30pm & 2pm—5pm, Sat 10am—12.30pm & 2pm—3pm, Sun 2pm—5pm).

Restoration work in the 1980s and 1990s uncovered preserved remnants and the crypt of an 11th-century Romanesque church that once stood on the site. You can visit the excavations: the site is located to the left of the entrance (open: Mon—Sun 8am—6pm).

There’s also a shop selling postcards, CDs and religious mementos (open: Mon—Fri 10am—6pm, 5pm in winter; Sat 10am—3.30pm; Sun 2pm—6pm, 5pm in winter).

Value for money

Price advice

Entrance to the treasury: adults 1 euro; children free; entry to Romanesque remains: 1 euro.

Expert tips

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Singles
  • Art
  • History
  • Design and architecture