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NOTRE DAME CHURCH of LAKEN... The royal family of Belgium lives in Laken. So, it makes sense that there would be some grand church in the area. Started in 1854, the Neo-Gothic church was begun to commemorate Belgium's first queen, Louise-Marie of Orléans, wife of Leopold I.

The renovated interior has beautiful arches in pale blue, patriotic mosaics, and elegant stained glass windows. If you don't plan to attend mass on every Sunday, at least a visit when the church is decorated in flowers is a good time to go. Below the church, and open only on special occasions, is the royal crypt. All of Beligum's kings and queens are buried there.

Behind Notre Dame is the cemetery of Laken. An amazing collection of 19th century tombstones, monuments, and graves show the names of important families in the history of Brussels. It was families with lots of money and connections. One of those people with connections managed to get an original Rodin "Thinker" in the cemetery.


the Royal Crypt
One of the originals
Copyright 2008 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.