Hotel, nightclub, store or bookstore … What happens to churches for sale?


Although Belgium had 3,732 parishes in 2019, 40 churches were abandoned in 2019 and 31 in 2018; but what becomes of them?

Rarely does a church have to be demolished. The last two cases in Brussels date from 1985 in Koekelberg and 1993 in Etterbeek. And even more rarely does a new church see the light of day, like Sainte-Gertrude, awaited for 28 years in Etterbeek and which has to face opposition from residents.

If the oldest church in Belgium is Saint-Ursmer in Lobbes, dating from 819, witness to a collegiate church founded in 698, the smallest is Saint-Martin de Rneppe in Seilles near Andenne built in the 11th century.

Belgium can boast of having on its soil the largest Art Deco church in the world: the Basilica of Koekelberg, which is also the fifth largest church in the universe. The oldest church in Brussels is Saint-Nicolas, mentioned in the archives in 1174 and famous for the cannonball from the bombing of 1695 still embedded in a pilaster.

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