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L'Eglise des Récollets

The single-nave church of the Récollets in Nivelles in Walloon Brabant, also called SS Jean and Nicolas, will impress you with its architecture and history. In fact, it is the church of a convent of Franciscan monks which was attached to it. Taken together, it constitutes the only monastery complex preserved in Nivelles, and is also one of the rare examples of Franciscan architecture extant in our regions. The Récollets Church is part of a remarkable architectural complex built from 1524 onwards using funding provided by Charles V and his aunt Margaret of Austria. According to her wish, the monks – who were established in Nivelles 20 years after the death of Saint Francis of Assisi (1226) – were attached to the branch of the 'Friars Minor Récollets' (Frères mineurs récollets), who lived in an austere and retired way. After the disturbances and demolitions of the 1580s, the church was rebuilt and experienced a long period of prosperity and an incontestable spiritual radiance until the end of the 18th century. Since the departure of the last monks at the beginning of the 19th century, the building was allocated for a variety of uses: hospital, hospice, Royal secondary school and courthouse. The process of listing the monastery buildings is underway. The church, which is heritage-listed, was restored for worship in 1960 and its restoration was completed in 1972. The play of colours of the blue and white stones highlights the great simplicity of the edifice, typical of the Brabant Late Gothic style. The soaring bays and powerful buttresses elegantly punctuate the single nave of this vast sanctuary. The only decorative feature is the Flamboyant Gothic style tracery that adorns the tops of the windows. The interior space, profound and luminous, leaves an impression of soberness and vertical élan. The keystone of the choir is adorned with an escutcheon with the arms of Charles V. A bay in the south side wall houses the reconstruction of the shrine of Saint Marie d'Oignies.

34 Rue de Charleroi 1400 Nivelles
Lat : 50.5957Lng : 4.32714
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Maison du Tourisme du Brabant wallon
1 Place du Brabant wallon
1300 Wavre (Belgique)
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