Archive for February 4th, 2019

February 4, 2019

Church of St John the Baptist, Brussels!

So I keep you up north with another of my favorites cities in Europe, Brussels. Again, been here several times over the years and have family near the Belgian border with France. So used it as a jumping place to visit the northern countries.  There is so much to see in Brussels, really, needs to be seen more by all.

However, in my walks, I have come some interesting buildings and monuments that falls into the off the beaten path category. One of them is the Church of St John the Baptist at Béguinage at Place du Béguinage, best ways is walking as the city is very walkable but to get close you can use public transports such as on bus/tram Line 4 stop/arrêt De Brouckere. And  Bus Line 88 stop/arrêt Beguinage. Also, by Metro lines 1A and 1B stop/arrêt Sainte-Catherine.

The Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste-au-Béguinage, located in the historic center of the city of Brussels, is a baroque-Flemish-style Church. It’s construction began in 1657.

brussels

A long history I like

Living first scattered in the village, wishes were received from the Bishop of Cambrai. The permission in 1252 to build a large enclosure made of individual houses that allow them to live communally. It is called Notre-Dame de la Vigne (Our Lady of the Vine). This one becomes very important, possessing at the best moment of its history, its laundry, its mill on the Senne river,and its hospital. In 1579, the Gothic Church of Béguinage was looted by the Calvinists. A new baroque-style Church replaced the old one. The first stone is laid in 1657. At the beginning of the 19C, little-maintained small houses were made available to indigent elderly people. The building became a parish Church in 1801. In 1824, a large part of béguinage constructions is considered dilapidated so they are demolished to make way for the construction of a large hospice, now the Pachéco hospice. The last houses of Béguinage disappeared in 1856. In 2006, the reconstruction of the structure was undertaken by using oak wood from the Loire, France. This structure then received 3 000 m2 of slates from Spain.

brussels

From the Béguinage alone remains its remarkable Church of St. John the Baptist, built from 1657. In late Baroque style, it was built on the foundations of the Gothic church destroyed during religious disturbances, and this explains its plan in the form of a Latin cross that is not usual for a baroque church. Its facade presents everything that the architectural tendencies of the late 17C allowed such as pilasters, columns, capitals, torches, œils-de-bœuf in a loaded but harmonious ensemble that already reminds us of the neo-classical style that is not far away. At the beginning of the 18C, an elegant campanile lace tower was added.

brussels

In the interior you can see the master altar is in Louis XVI style. The central medallion represents the Holy Family. Backed by the walls of the aisles: the six confessional, from the 18C, adorned with feminine allegorical figures holding various objects related to the sacrament of Reconciliation.  The pulpit of truth, also of the 18C, is consecrated to St. Dominic the founder of the Dominicans.  A large rock (wooden) supports the tub and the staircase of the pulpit. Dominique is represented as the winner of the Cathar heresy.

brussels

As for the paintings what holds the most attention is a series of paintings by Théodore van Loon. The latter was designated at the time to reconstruct the pictorial heritage following the iconoclastic destructions during the 16C  Wars of religion. However, of the six paintings of Van Loon, only two remain visible in the Church: the Coronation of St. Ursula (North transept) and the Adoration of the Magi.  One is placed at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts (l’Assomption), four other Van Loons of the Church have just been restored on the occasion of the exhibition  “Theodore Van Loon, a Caravaggio between Rome and Brussels.” A remarkable 16C painting is found in the right transept. A monumental cross of Christ  is at the end of the south transept.  In the south transept, a moving stone tomb, from an Antwerp workshop, can be admired. The Way of the Cross in plaster, done in 1862.  Therere regular exhibitions, parishioners have a strong commitment to the poor and emigrants here.

brussels

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

YELP on the Church some pictures

Tourist office of Brussels on the Church

You have to see it in full sun when the brightness plays on the stone. You have to visit it and be surprised by the few that are made, to the point that it serves as a refuge for homeless people who cook there!! Another off the beaten path to see even in Brussels!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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February 4, 2019

The St Peter’s Cathedral, Trier!

SO let me continuing telling you about one of my favorite cities in Europe, small, historical, and beautiful just like I like them most. I have come to Trier (Tréves in French) in several occasions since 1990, mostly one day two days trips into the city been base in Luxembourg (another favorite). Lately, I have come for vacations in Germany and stayed just outside on the wine areas below it and could come more often to see its beautiful buildings. The history here is huge been considered the oldest city in Germany!

I like to tell you a bit more on one of my favorite buildings here, that is the St Peter’s Cathedral of Trier. This is a huge task so only making some brief entries and the rest is for you to come over, it is a must to visit. again…

trier

St. Peter’s Cathedral in Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate state, and the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Trier.  Built between 1235 and 1270, it is the oldest Cathedral in Germany. Its multi-secular history is made visible by the assembly, on the facades of the building, of architectural styles of different eras. Its dimensions ,112 meters long by 41 meters wide, make it the most important religious building of Trier. And a must to see while there.

trier

A bit of brief history I like

According to medieval traditions dating back to the 9C but not certain, Hélène, the mother of Emperor Constantine, and the future Saint Hélène, would have donated her house from the Roman city of Augusta Treverorum (Trier) to Agritius, the Bishop of Trier. Archaeological excavations have revealed the presence under the Cathedral of dwelling of the Roman aristocracy, one with a painted ceiling (the fresco, now restored, is at the Episcopal Museum). In 310-329AD, Bishop Agritius built a first basilica, the remains of which are located under the information offices, outside the Cathedral. Bishop Maximin of Trier coordinated the enlargement of this basilica with the construction of what was then the largest religious building in the west of the Roman Empire: on a ground right-of-way four times greater than that of the present Cathedral were built no less than four basilicas, a baptistery and many dependencies. From 340AD  is built the square building whose walls form the nucleus of the present Cathedral.

trier

The Cathedral  was left in ruins by the Franks in the first half of the 5C. The Normans looted and seriously degraded the building in 882. Between 1235 and 1270, the Notre-Dame church is built on the site of the former southern basilica, which is razed. The cloister also dates from this period. Between 1687 and 1699 it was built the front of the Chapel of the Holy Tunic, precious relic of the Cathedral. Between 1702 and 1708, a sacred chamber is added upstream of the chorus to house the relic. The winter of 1944-1945, the Cathedral, like the rest of the city, is seriously damaged during the fighting for the capture of the city by Allied troops. Between 1960 and 1974, the last renovation work was carried out with the redevelopment of the altar, in accordance with the Liturgy of the II Vatican Council.  . In 1974, a new altar is consecrated and the Cathedral recommissioned. The beatification of the Franciscan Rosa Flesch , pronounced by Cardinal Meisner, took place in the St Peter’s Cathedral of Trier on 4 May 2008.

trier

trier

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The Holy Tunic is preserved in a wooden reliquary dating from 1891, the ensemble being placed in an air-conditioned display case in the Chapel of the Holy Tunic. This Chapel is only accessible once a year, but the sacred garment is not exposed.  There is the tomb of Saint Paulin (see other post in my blog) of Trier d. 358AD at the crypt. A successor to Maximin, he was with Saint Athanasius, a defender of the Council of Nicée, against the Roman Emperor Constance II.

trier

The St Peter’s Cathedral is huge and beautiful , I just told you a bit more than on previous general posts on Trier, there is lots to see here and it is a must to see while visiting the city or nearby areas! I have several times to Trier, the last we rented housing in the vineyards below Trier. Wonderful experience. Enjoy it Trier!

 

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Trier on the Cathedral

Information center on tourism of Trier and the Cathedral

Tourist office of Germany on the Cathedral at Trier

Again, go see it, worth the trip for sure and the city is a delight. Enjoy Trier and its monuments and ambiance! And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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February 4, 2019

Church of Saint Paulus, Trier

So while staying in Trier last, we decided to do some real walks in town. Lovely place we like and have come back several times. As you get away from the city center , some nice monuments are seen seldom visited, might say , off the beaten path I like.

This is the case with the Church of Saint Paulus, in Trier, Germany.  I like to tell you a bit more about it as not much else in my previous blog posts and not too much information available, maybe in German but do not understand.

trier

The Church Saint Paulus  dates back to a previous  Church, which was located not far from the current site on the Irminenfrehof north of the St. Irminen. In 1790 the Church was laid down due to dilapidation and after the secularization in 1803 the Church of the nearby monastery became the new parish Church until the new Church took place. The new Church was built between 1905 and 1907 in the neo-Romanesque style.

trier

Since the merger of the previous parishes of St Lowe and St. Laurentius, St. Agritius, St. Anthony, St. Gangolf and St. Paulus  into the new parish of Liebfrauen in December 2000, the Church belonged to this parish now. In  2017, St. Paulus (St Paul) was disused  due to the great number of Churches in the city center of Trier and the sharp decline of worship attendees. Currently, the Church houses the interactive exhibition Dialogue in the Dark, which will initially be on view until July 2019.

trier

trier

Inside the Church, in the immediate vicinity of the altar, is the tomb of Hieronymus Jaegen. After the disused of this Church , Jaegens is to be reburied in the Church of St. Gangolf.  Not much has survived since a renovation in the 1960s. At the site of the High Altar stands a crucifixion group that used to stand at St Martin’s Abbey. The sculptures, which date back to 1498, were moved to the interior of the Church for protection against weathering, and copies were erected at the original site. Unusual is the Querhaus Basilica

trier

trier

Saint Paulus had originally been a Bishop of Trier and had lived in exile in Phrygia (Asia Minor), where he died in AD358, his body is now at the St Peter’s Cathedral  (see previous entry in my blog)

trier

A webpage for more info on tourism in Trier follows

Tourist office of Trier on the Church

Enjoy this off the beaten path walk in lovely Trier, Germany. And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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