As we continued on our May 1st. exploratory journey, we came upon the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula (patron saints of the city of Brussels) on Trurenberg Hill. Somewhere around the 9th century, a chapel was first built here. Two hundred years later, this was replaced by a Romanesque church. Reports indicate that it took approximately 300 years to complete the construction of this cathedral. The two towers of the cathedral measure 210 feet high and the south tower contains a 49-bell carillon, on which Sunday concerts are performed. The gothic choir holds the mausoleums of the Dukes of Brabant, as well as that of Archduke Ernest of Austria. On either side of the main aisle are 17th century statues of the twelve apostles attached to columns. A distinctive feature on the right side is the 1699 baroque wooden pulpit depicting Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden on the base, and on the top, the Virgin and Child piercing the serpent (representing redemption). In 1962, this church was given Cathedral status, making it a co-cathedral of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels. The Royal marriage of Belgian Crown Prince Philipe and Princess Mathilda took place in this cathedral in 1999.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.