Cathédrale des Sts-Michel & Gudule


Host to coronations and royal weddings, Brussels’ grand, twin-towered cathedral bears at least some resemblance to Paris’ Notre Dame. Begun in 1226, construction took 300 years. Stained-glass windows flood the soaring nave with light, while column-saints brandish gilded tools. An enormous wooden pulpit by Antwerp artist Hendrik Verbruggen sees Adam and Eve driven out of Eden by skeletons. To climb the cathedral towers (€5; 10am on the second Saturday of each month), sign up a day or two ahead.

The treasury is open shorter hours and the crypt by appointment only.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Brussels attractions

1. National Bank of Belgium Museum

0.05 MILES

Unexpectedly absorbing, the renovated National Bank Museum is far more than just a coin collection. Well-presented exhibits trace the very concept of…

2. Marc Sleen Museum

0.22 MILES

Set in a handsome mosaiced and tiled former newspaper office right opposite the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée, this free museum explores the work of…

3. Colonne du Congrès

0.22 MILES

Brussels’ 25m-tall version of Nelson’s Column is an 1850s monolith topped by a gilded statue of King Léopold I. It commemorates the Belgian constitution…

4. Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée

0.24 MILES

This centre offers a definitive and enjoyable overview of the country’s vibrant comic-strip culture. Even if you’re not excited by the ‘ninth art’, do…

5. Galeries St-Hubert

0.26 MILES

When opened in 1847 by King Léopold I, the glorious Galeries St-Hubert formed Europe’s very first shopping arcade. Many enticing shops lie behind its…

6. Jeanneke Pis

0.26 MILES

Squatting just off Rue des Bouchers, this pigtailed female counterpart of Manneken Pis is the work of sculptor Denis Adrien Debouvrie, who installed her…

7. Chapelle de la Madeleine

0.26 MILES

This medieval church was badly damaged in the 1695 bombardment of Brussels, and features some lovely 1950s stained glass.

8. Rue des Bouchers

0.26 MILES

Uniquely colourful Rue and Petite Rue des Bouchers are a pair of narrow alleys jam-packed with pavement tables, pyramids of lemons and iced displays of…