Basilique Saint-Christophe

Heritage

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Source: Wizpr.guide

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Situated in the heart of the town in front of the town hall on Charles II square, the architecture of Saint Christopher’s Basilica is very special. Originally a chapel, then for a long time from 1722 a Baroque church; it has undergone several modifications and restorations. The most spectacular of these was in the 1950’s which gave it a look of a Byzantine basilica.
It is in the form of a cross under a central cupola. On one side the ancient axis with remnants of the 18th century church and a canvas by Navez from Charleroi and on the other side a new modern axis with a large 200m² mosaic behind the choir. This mosaic made from millions of pieces of coloured glass or covered with thin gold leaf is the most impressive item in the church. The composition by Jean Ransy, made by a workshop in Venice, is of the Apocalypse from the text of Saint John. In this new part there are also frescoes depicting the Beatitudes, stained glass windows illustrating passages from the bible, a beautiful rose window, the organ renovated in 2003 and the sober Stations of the Cross.
The reconstruction of the basilica after the 1940-45 war was born from the emotion created by the massacre of twenty hostages by the Rexists just a few days before liberation in 1944.The authorities wanted a memorial of these tragic events to remember the victims and to be vigilant against intolerance and violence.

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