Temple des Augustins

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Photo of the Temple des Augustins, late 19th century.
Map of the renovations done as part of the covering of the Senne, showing the location of the Temple des Augustins

The Temple des Augustins (French for temple of the Augustinians, alternatively Eglise des Augustins; Dutch: Augustijnenkerk) in Brussels was a baroque-style church designed by the architect Jacob Franquart and erected 1621-1642.[1] It was located on Place de Broukere in the centre of Brussels[2] until its demolition in 1893-1894.

Closed by revolutionary troops in 1796, the church reopened for Roman Catholic worship in 1805.

In the run-up to the Battle of Waterloo (1815) it served as an arsenal for British troops and subsequently as a military hospital.[3]

Under the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau the building was designated a Protestant place of worship, alongside Brussels Protestant Church on Place du Musée[4] and the Dutch Church (Nederlandse gemeente) met in the Temple from 1816 until the Belgian revolution in 1830.[3] The first Reformed service was held on 1 September 1816 and Hermannus Pauw (born 1770) and Dirk Rijke (1789–1830) served as ministers 1816-1830. In March 1817 the future William III was baptised in the Temple. Anglican Reverend Holworthy, chaplain to the British Ambassador, held English-language services in the Temple until 1829.

The last Protestant service was held on 21 August 1830; from 5 September the building was occupied by Belgian patriots. Many of the worshippers fled the city and the Dutch Church was left without a building, meeting in various locations before it eventually built its own premises at Zuidkaai in 1857.[5]

After 1830 the Temple served various purposes: for performances,[6] exhibitions and even as a post office. It survived the covering of the Senne river, a drastic destruction and renovation of downtown Brussels. At the center of de Brouckère square, the church’s façade was intended by architect Léon Suys to be one of the focal points of the new boulevards. The work to cover the river, which nearly surrounded the church, preserved the integrity of the building at great trouble and expense, but the church was finally demolished in 1893, its style no longer popular with the people and its presence unsuitable for the area. The church was replaced by a fountain dedicated to the memory of Jules Anspach.

The Temple was demolished in 1893-1894. However the facade masonry was retained and was reconstructed as the facade of the Church of the Holy Trinity at Parvis de la Trinité in the suburban Ixelles district of Brussels.[1]

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Coordinates: 50°50′29″N 4°21′10″E / 50.84139°N 4.35278°E / 50.84139; 4.35278