Saturday, November 7, 2009

Eglise St-Jacquessur - Coudenberg

THE PRETTIEST building in the Place Royale, St-Jacquessur- Coudenberg is the latest in a series of churches to have occupied this site. There has been a chapel here since the 12th century, when one was built to serve the dukes of Brabant. On construction of the Coudenberg Palace in the 13th century, it became the ducal chapel. The chapel suffered over the years: it was ransacked in 1579 during conflict between Catholics and Protestants, and was so badly damaged in the fire of 1731 that destroyed the Coudenberg Palace that it was demolished soon after. The present church was built in the Neo-Classical style of the rest of the area and was consecrated in 1787, although it served several years as a Temple of Reason and Law during the French Revolution, returning to the Catholic Church in 1802. The cupola was completed in 1849. The interior is simple and elegant, with two large paintings by Jan Portaels on either side of the transept, and a royal pew.