Post-Christmas Break


Veronica and Dave had a few days away in Lille and Brussels in January 2019. We visited a few churches, including Lille Cathedral – dedicated to Notre Dame de la Treille. The Cathedral takes its name from a 12th-century figure of the Virgin that has been long revered in the city. The cathedral was built by wealthy inhabitants of the city, starting in the late 19th century; building didn’t finish until the 1990s! Sadly, the Virgin is no longer inhabiting the cathedral – she was stolen in 1959, and her church now gets by with a replica. [Treille means trellis – presumably the item the statue is sitting behind!]

Altar screen at Lille cathedral

We arrived just before Epiphany, so the Shepherds were still present…

By Sunday morning the Kings had arrived. (The figures are near life-size.)

At St Nicholas’s church in Brussels, the alignment of the chancel does not match that of the nave. This is not because of an incompetent architect, but is intended to represent Christ’s head leaning to one side on the Cross.

Church of St Nicholas, Brussels

The Cathedral at Brussels is dedicated to St Michael the Archangel and St Gudula of Brabant. Wikipedia tells us that “Gudula was educated in the abbey of Nivelles by her godmother, Gertrude of Nivelles. When Gertrude died, she moved back to her home at Moorsel, spending her time in good works and religious devotion. She frequently visited the church of Moorsel, situated about two miles from her parents’ house.”

The organ in Brussels Cathedral is quite spectacular.

It sounds good too – we attended a concert on a previous visit.

The organ console is on the balcony of the central section.

There is an ornithological theme in the side chapel, with “pious pelicans” supporting the glass altar table.


In between visiting churches and museums, attending concerts and riding the trams we found time to eat and drink.

We found a suitable wine to have with our lunch one day…

As we were arriving back at St Pancras we found that our Eurostar driver was about to retire after 38 years’ service…

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