Tuesday, January 12, 2010


TUCKED AWAY among the rolling hills of the province of Brabant, the little town of Nivelles was, for centuries, the site of one of the wealthiest and most powerful abbeys in the region. Earlier it was the cradle of the Carolingian dynasty, whose most celebrated ruler was the Emperor Charlemagne (747–814). The main sight today is the vast church, the Collégiale Ste- Gertrude, that dominates the town centre. Something of an architectural hotchpotch, the church dates back to the 10th century and is remarkable in that it has two imposing chancels – one each for the pope and the king.