Tuesday, July 8, 2008


... The dome, adorned with 298 golden stars
symbolizes the cosmos...

In 1609 the first stone is put in place
for the unique structure
in highly developed baroque style,
which is finally inaugurated in 1627.

Architect-engineer Wenceslas Cobergher
With its surroundings, it's now one of the best examples
ofthe triumphalist architecture of Counter-Reformation
in Belgium.
source: en.wikipedia.org

Archduke Albert of Austria (appointed by the King of Spain
as the governor of the Low Countries),
and his wife,
the Archduchess Isabella (daughter of King Philip II of Spain)

donate for the construction of a stone chapel
in Scherpenheuvel
and make a pilgrimage themselves.
source: en.wikipedia.org


... the popularity of the pilgrimage also has a lot to do with
the year-round fairy atmosphere that characterizes
the place:
lots of stalls with souvenirs, sugar sweets,
typical bakery like
the "pepernoten" and "moppen",
hotels, bars
and restaurants of different kinds ...
source: en.wikipedia.org

Scherpenheuvel (English: "Steep Hill"), ...
... the most important pilgrimage (Roman Catholic)
in Belgium
is located some 50 km east of Brussels
Its origins date back to the pagan worship
that still survived
during the Middle-Ages
around a holy oak on this hilltop.
The cross-shaped tree was thus "Christianized"
with a statue of the Holy Mary...

Het Belgische Maria-oord Scherpenheuvel ... (NL)
by Maria Kevelaar geschiedenis
... en het ontstaan van Kevelaer
... In de Middeleeuwen staat er op een heuvel bij het stadje Zichem
al een eik waarin een Mariabeeldje hangt ...