What to see in Brussels: National Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Koekelberg

Something to see, visit and enjoy in Brussels and Belgium; this week : National Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Koekelberg

This Art Deco church is the fifth largest church in the world, located in the Koekelberg municipality of Brussels, after the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Paix in Yamoussokro on the Ivory Coast, St Peter’s in Rome, St Paul’s in London and Santa Maria Dei Fiori in Florence. Its impressive dimensions (89 metres high and 167 metres long) look out over the Parc Elisabeth. Though it is modelled on the Sacré-Coeur in Paris it is made of concrete, sandstone and red-brick and, unlike the original, is not gleeming white. King Leopold decided to build it in 1902 and he laid the first stone in 1905. It was finally completed in 1971 in time to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Belgian independence.

The basilica has also an important cultural function. It’s a magnificent Art Deco monument, there are two museums, there are yearly different expositions and you can enjoy a wonderful view over Brussels

The cupola platform, which has a diameter of 33 metres, gives an excellent view over Brussels and the surrounding area.

Address: Boulevard Leopold II
Open: 8am-6pm April to September and 8am-5pm October to March
Getting there: Metro Simonis then bus 87
http://www.basilicakoekelberg.be/documents/home.xml?lang=en