Notre Dame du Sablon

Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon Church, Brussels, Belgium
Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon Church, Brussels, Belgium

Notre Dame du Sablon (Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon) is a Brabantine Gothic  style church in the historic area of Brussels, Belgium.  Initially this was the site of a smaller chapel honoring Mary, but around 1400 the construction of the church began and took about a hundred years. The two chapels were added in the 17th century (St. Ursula – 1676, Saint Murcouf-1690) and a significant restoration was needed in the late 19th century due to deterioration.   Wikipedia has a fairly thorough summary of the history of the church.

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey or Stift Melk, Melk, Vienna
Melk Abbey or Stift Melk, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey is about an hour’s drive from Vienna, Austria and was founded on an rocky overlook in 1089 when the former castle was gifted to the Benedictine monks by Leopold II of Austria.   The abbey has had several fires and suffered severe damage from invading Turks, but was largely rebuilt in 1702.  It’s a Baroque complex that includes a school and museum and is a popular tourist spot these days.

St. Vitus

St. Vitus Cathedral or St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
St. Vitus Cathedral (or Cathedral of Saints Vitus,  Wenceslas and Adalbert), Prague, Czech Republic

This church is a little older than the average.  Saint Vitus Cathedral is in central Prague and is the third church on this site.  Construction of this gothic cathedral started in 1344 when the the King of Bohemia wanted a church for coronations, royal burials, and a treasury for the most valuable relics of the kingdom.  Work on different parts of this massive church continued at various times over the next 600 hundred years and was considered finally finished in 1929.  There is a lot of history online with more details and a virtual tour on the church’s website.  In 1997 the church was rededicated as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert.

 

 

Iceland Churches

Small Church, Vatnsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Iceland is an old country and has had churches for over 1000 years, but the Protestant churches you’ll see if you visit are typically 50-150 years old.  I stopped at a few as I passed them in various parts of the island, but have limited information on each.  Although there are still a healthy number of churches standing, Iceland has become decreasingly religious over the decades, and I didn’t see any in use while visiting.

Here are a few spotted along the way.

Vik Church was included in an earlier post.

 

Vik Church

Vik i Myrdal, Southern Iceland

Vik Church is a Lutheran church built in 1934 that, in my opinion, has one of the most spectacular views in Europe.  It sits at the top of the small village of Vík í Mýrdal which is located in southern Iceland.  This photo was taken in early summer when the wildflowers were peaking.