St. Bartholomew's Church

Liège, Belgium

The Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew was built in coal sandstone, starting in the late 11th century (the chancel) and lasting until the late 12th century (the massive westwork, with its twin towers which were reconstructed in 1876). It underwent, like most ancient religious buildings, modifications through the centuries. Nevertheless, the Meuse Romanesque—Ottonian architecture character of its architecture remained deeply rooted. The 18th century saw the addition of two more aisles, the opening of a neoclassical portal in the walls of the westwork, and the French Baroque redecoration of the interior. The interior of the western section has recently been restored back to the original style.

The church contains numerous works of art, among which may be mentioned The Glorification of the Holy Cross, a tableau of the local painter Bertholet Flemalle (1614-1675); The Crucifixion, from another local artist, Englebert Fisen (1655-1733); and a statue of St. Roch by Renier Panhay de Rendeux.

St. Bartholomew is the site of one of the most known examples of ecclesiastical Mosan art, a baptismal font attributed to the goldsmith Renier de Huy. It was commissioned at the beginning of the 12th century (1107-1108) by the Abbot Hellin for the Church of Notre-Dame-aux-Fonts, now destroyed, where local baptisms traditionally were administered.

The font was installed in St. Bartholomew Church in 1804, after having been spared from the occupying forces of the French Revolutionary Army.

This work heralds a resurgence of Greek influences on Western art. The brass tank, resting on ten (originally twelve) ox figures, presents five scenes: the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, the preaching of St. John the Baptist, the baptism of the catechumens, the baptism of the Centurion Cornelius, and the baptism of the philosopher Craton.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Traffic Tse (9 months ago)
Bright color mixture has caught my eyes. Need a deeper exploration in it.
BARTOSZ R (15 months ago)
Pretty and nicely restored. One of the highlights of the city.
macedonboy (2 years ago)
I pass this church on the way to Musee Curtuis. One of the original seven collegiate churches of Liège, it an interesting example of Ottonian architecture and very photogenic with it's red boundary lines.
Mitr Friend (2 years ago)
There is an official list of 7 Wonders of Belgium, which includes Ghent Alterpiece, Relics of our Lady in Tournai Cathedral etc as well. In this list comes the Baptismal Font of Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church. Though its a 12th C CE Church, it doesn't feel so, as it has been very recently renovated. But the Baptismal Font is the best example of early 12th C Goldsmithery.
Alain Coutelier (3 years ago)
Magnifique Collégiale en plein cœur historique de la ville de Liège. Splendide bâtiment à l'architecture extérieure rénovée. L'intérieur de cette Collégiale mérite votre visite touristique en dehors des heures des offices (religion chrétienne) ou même pendant si vous souhaitez assister à une messe et admirer la magnificence de l'endroit et son évolution historique dans le temps (tableaux didactiques à disposition, vente de publications,...) Les fonds baptismaux constituent une attraction historique de cette Collégiale située Place Saint-Barthélemy.
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Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

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