National Basilica

Church in Brussels

Ghastly but gigantic, this is the world’s fifth-largest church and the world’s largest art-deco building. When construction started in 1905 (to celebrate Belgium’s 75th anniversary), a truly magnificent feast of neo-Gothic spires was planned. However, WWI left state finances impoverished, so a 1925 redesign shaved off most of the intricate details. The lumpy result, finally completed in 1969, has some attractive stained glass but is predominantly a white elephant of dull brown brick and green copperwork.

Take the lift (adult/BrusselsCard €5/3) to a 53m-high panorama balcony for sweeping views, including an interesting perspective on the Atomium.


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