Basilica of Sacred Heart, Koekelberg (Brussels - Belgium)


To begin with, this is the quirkiest Basilica I've ever seen and the 4th largest I've seen. In fact, this is the 15th largest church area-wise. Why quirky? Well, this has been built in the Art deco style which is always quirky!  

Even from the exteriors, the church looks unusual, so different from any basilica I've ever seen so far. Located in a slightly elevated ground called the Koekelberg hill, with a huge garden and trees on either sides forming its frontage, it looks just spectacular. 

It was begun in 1905 under King Leopold II, however, the construction was severely halted by the 2 world wars and it effectively got completed only in 1969. 
King Leopold II saw the Basilica of Sacred Heart in Montmartre in Paris and got super impressed by it and wanted to build a similar one here in Brussels. So, over the 2 hills of Brussels he dediced to built 2 monumental architectures - Palais de Justice over the Justice Hill and the basilica over the Koekelpberg Hill. 

There's a huge copper dome atop and there are 2 thin towers in front of it which are also topped with copper domes. The central dome is at a height of 89m from the ground. This was designed by architect Albert Van Huffel and for this design he worn the Best Architecture award in the Art Deco Exposition in Paris. 
With multiple facets in everything from the floor plan to the dome to pillars to nave to towers to windows, makes this building so unique. For a layman - everything here is almost star shaped!!!
The opening on the ceiling just in front of the nave where the dome is located, its square. On top of it, the balcony is octoganal. The layer atop this has 16 facets and increasing as it goes up to form the dome.
The organ here is so huge and I don't know how old is it. When I visited a wedding was happening here and the carol was singing and the organ was being played and the sound resonating and echoing from the multiple facets of this architecture can't be explained in words. Its just mesmerizing and its to be felt! 


On one side within the church, is a little chapel and on the other side is the shop and at the end of this side is the lift to access the balcony from where a panoramic view of Brussels can be seen. The above 2 images are actually of the same angle and same location taken from the ground floor and from the balcony. 
The best part of Panoramic view in Brussels - from here you can see the Atomium and from atop the Atomium you can see the Basilica!!! 

To Get There:
Nearest metro station: Simonis
Nearest bus/tram stop: Bossaert; College Sacre-Coeur
Timings: 9AM to 5PM
Entry ticket: Free
Access to balcony: €5; €3 with Brussels Card

P.S: I was invited by VisitBrussels - Brussels Card to experience the city for review purposehowever the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. Wonderful! I agree with you that the exterior of this church is very different. Actually, if someone does not know about this, he/she might think that this is a university or a museum.

  2. Wow! The architecture of the building is superb.. Wish I could go there and see with my own eyes..

  3. I greatly admire old and historical architectural church designs. The historic furnishing and artworks, will tell us the history of a specific place.

  4. The basilica looks spectacular! I'm also fond of visiting religious places when I travel because they usually have the most interesting architecture.

  5. The architecture of the Basilica is impressive. It looks great from the outside and looks even better from the inside.

  6. This basilica is old, but the architecture seems so modern inside. It looks like it was designed ahead of its time. Very impressive. How did you estimate that it was the fourth biggest that you have seen?

  7. This Basilica is humongous! And it's only the 4th largest you've seen? Wow! I've never seen anything like it. It's like a castle and basilica in one. Truly amazing!

  8. One of my dream destination! Thanks for sharing these amazing photos!

  9. It is spectacular! Indeed it looks very vast and great place to explore. I loved the first photo showcasing its full glory.

  10. Brussels is so beautiful and full of historical architect.

  11. Basilica of Sacred Heart looks wonderful! The structure of the ceiling is really fascinating. I like how the view is looking above the ceiling.

  12. Wow, what a wonderful place! I love your photos too, good angles!


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