St. Leonard's Church

Zoutleeuw, Belgium

The Saint Leonard's Church in Zoutleeuw stands on the former site of a Romanesque chapel erected in 1125 by Benedictines from Vlierbeek Abbey near Leuven. Construction of the present church began around 1231, and additions continued into the 16th century. Rendered mainly in the Gothic style, the building in its oldest parts shows traces of the Romanesque.

The two heavy square towers flanking the west facade are connected with each other by means of a gallery over the nave. The slender central tower, octagonal in cross-section, contains a carillon with 24 bells. Since 1999, this church with its towers has been part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Belfries of Belgium and France'.

Few if any other medieval churches in Belgium remain in such an excellent state of preservation as St. Leonard's, which stayed clear of the widespread iconoclasm during the Protestant Reformation. It also survived the French Revolution intact, because three canons took an oath of allegiance to the French regime. The interior thus offers an authentic glimpse of how the churches of Brabant were furnished centuries ago.



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Founded: 1231
Category: Religious sites in Belgium


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steven Loockx (4 months ago)
This is a unique hidden gem that actually deserves much more fame. Where you have to pay in Antwerp to be able to see comparable art treasures, here you can just see them before your eyes and you can just enter the church! The unique sacrament tower, the Marianum at the large entrance, the majestic works of art,... It's beautiful! Here history is brought to life and you come face to face with the authentic past. Forget Bruges, forget Antwerp, visit Zoutleeuw! It's really worth it!
kadewi052 (4 months ago)
Sacramenttoren, Marianum, Sedes Sapientiae, several altarpieces: 21 recognized masterpieces of Flanders in their original location. Very successful restoration. Interesting recent brochure about the art treasures of the Sint-Leonarduskerk available on site (10 eur).
Vanessa (16 months ago)
Wonderful! And very well-restored frescoes
Dirk Van Gasse (3 years ago)
Absolutely worth the trip. The medieval church and it's art are a real gem.
Hugo Vandormael (3 years ago)
Super place! Especially if you like history and art (with a large letter 'K').
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