The Collegiate Church in Nivelles

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7 Avenue Colonel Cadoux, Nivelles, Belgium
082 22 22 07

The Collegiate Church in Nivelles Reviews

Chokk Chokk
1727 reviews
A stunning building Jun 08, 2008
I had little or to be honest no knowledge about Nivelles except that I had a colleague Jean-Paul living there and he was kind enough to invite me home on a BBQ so I could get a knowledge about the city and its history. The most famous thing in Nivelles is the Romanesque Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude and I was quite amazed of what I saw.

The Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude was consecrated in 1046 in the presence of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor of the German nation, and Wazon, Bishop of Liège.

The construction of the 11th century church is in “Ottonian” style, and the front part, dating from the end of the 12th century, in late Romanesque style. The construction was completed in the 13th century with the cloister on the north side. The bicephalous plan of the church is in the Carolinian tradition. The interior and exterior ensemble is of great rigour, the fruit of simple geometric volumes and sober materials.

The most important alterations of the church took place: In the 17th century, when the western apse disappeared to be replaced by an axial opening decorated with a baroque portal. In the 18th century, when the interior followed the prevailing fashion, and was decorated with stuccos and wood panelling that adulterated the pure lines of the Romanesque architecture. The restoration of the Collegiate Church after the aerial bombardment of 14 May 1940 started in 1948, and was finished in 1984.

The Collegiate Church bears witness to the existence, at the same place, of an abbey founded in the 7th century in the domain of Pippin the Elder. His younger daughter, Gertrude, was its first abbess. The community of enclosed nuns and monks was turned into a chapter of canons and canonesses, which was abolished in 1798.
The Collegiate Church in Nivelles
The Collegiate Church in Nivelles
The Collegiate Church in Nivelles
Jean de Nivelles
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photo by: Chokk