Church of Our Lady of Laeken

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Church of Our Lady of Laeken
50°52′44″N 4°21′21″E / 50.879°N 4.3557°E / 50.879; 4.3557Coordinates: 50°52′44″N 4°21′21″E / 50.879°N 4.3557°E / 50.879; 4.3557
Country Belgium
Denomination Roman Catholic
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Architect(s) Joseph Poelaert
Style Gothic Revival
Archdiocese Mechelen-Brussels

The Church of Our Lady of Laeken (French: Église Notre-Dame de Laeken; Dutch: Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk van Laken) is a neo-Gothic Roman Catholic church in Laeken, Brussels. It was originally built in memory of Queen Louise-Marie, wife of King Leopold I to the design of architect Joseph Poelaert.

Louise-Marie died in Ostend in 1850 and wished to be buried in Laeken. The nearby Royal Castle of Laeken was, and still is, the royal residence. Leopold I wished the church to be constructed in her memory and as a mausoleum for her.

The young architect Joseph Poelaert was chosen to design the new church.[1] (He later became best known for the Law Courts of Brussels.)

Royal Crypt[edit]

Main article: Royal Crypt (Belgium)

The first stone was laid by Leopold I in 1854. The church was consecrated in 1872, but not completed until 1909 after a lengthy interruption of the work. The crypt holds the tombs of the Belgian royal family, including those of all the former Belgian kings. These tombs include:

The adjacent Laeken Cemetery behind the church is sometimes known as the "Belgian Père Lachaise" because it is the burial place of many people who were rich and famous.



  1. ^ "Notre Dame church of Laken in Brussels". Retrieved 2009-05-01.