Sunday, March 15, 2020

0-euro notes : 1 d. Belgium : Brussels Koekelberg Basilica

When entering Brussels capital region from the western side, a large avenue runs from the exit of the highway towards the basilica of Koekelberg (Koekelberg is the name of the suburb where the church was built - although it is also on the territory of the suburb Ganshoren).

In 1905, Belgium celebrated the 75th birthday after it's independence. King Leopold II introduces the idea of building a sanctuary similar to the Sacré Coeur in Paris.
The idea was to build a huge church in neo gothic style, similar to lots of buildings in Bruges for example.
1905 design of Koekelberg Basilica
Under the rule of Leopold II, the building of the foundations of the church start. However, the death of the king in 1909 and the beginning of the first world war, brings the building to a stop.
After the war, there is not much money left and the whole project is stopped completely.
In 1926 a new architect, Albert Van Huffel, is asked to re-design the building, as the neo gothic style is considered to be old fashion. It takes till 1970 to complete the whole church in art deco style.
With a length of 164.5 m, it is the largest art deco building in the world, and the 5th longest church in the world.
In 1951 the curch was inaugurated and one year later 'upgraded' to 'basilica minor' by Pope Pius XII.
0 euro note Koekelberg Basilica - Brussels - 2018-1
Koekelberg Basilica Brussels
The note can be purchased inside the church, next to the elevator to the balcony.
From the balcony (52.8m), you have a superb view on Brussels and the surrounding area.

No comments: