The Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage

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The Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage

In the mid-17th century, the beguines decided to build a new church to replace the existing Gothic-style structure devoted to Saint John. The work began in 1657, with the restoration of the choir. This was followed by the construction of the nave and the Baroque façade, modelled on two churches built by Jacques Francart: the Jesuit church and the Augustinian church. The latter dated from about 1620 and was located a short distance away. In the early 18th century, when the beguinage had 1,084 houses extending over an area of 7 hectares, an elegant openwork campanile bell tower was added. Like the main façade, one of the most opulent in Belgium, careful consideration was given to the interior decoration. The countless niches, the superposed orders, the volute pediments and the rich exterior decoration are firmly rooted in the vocabulary of the Baroque, which is also evident in the interior layout with its offset cornices, volute-flanked niches and numerous stucco chubby-cheeked winged putti. The altars, confession boxes and pulpit form a rich set of Baroque-style furniture (Listed 05/03/1936).

Practical information

  • Place du Béguinage/Begijnhof
    1000 Brussels
    • Sat. & Sun. from 14h00 to 17h00
    • M
      Sainte-Catherine/Sint-Katelijne
    • T
      De Brouckère
    • B
      Béguinage/Begijnhof