The Basilica of the Sacred Heart

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By DonMartini @ 2006-02-24 04:25:33
When standing on one of the hills surrounding the center of Brussels, one can always see the dome of the Basilica in Western direction.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (situated in the Suburb of Koekelberg) is labeled "the national Basilica of Belgium". It was built to remember the 75th anniversary of the Belgian independence.

In 1905 king Leopold II laid the first stone. According to the plans of architect LANGEROCK it was to become a gigantic neo-gothic church. The initial plans were stopped at the beginning of World War I. Only in 1919 the construction would continue. However, by then the developers had changed their plans and architect. A new architect, called VAN NUFFEL, was asked to construct a modern prayerhouse. To the people of Brussels and Belgium it seemed that the Basilica would never be finished. Moreover, the construction of the church depended entirely on donations made by believers and these donations did not always yield the expected funds. The church was eventually finished in the late 1960's with the construction of a dome and dedicated to the war victories of 1918 and 1944.

The interior decoration is in 1930's Art Deco style with use of marble. Since March 1997 visitors can climb into the dome of the Basilica from where one can have a beautiful panorama over Brussels and its surrounding area.
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