Searching for utopia in Namur

The 'Searching for utopia' artwork of artist Jan Fabre was adopted by the inhabitants of Namur after his ‘Facing Time Rops/Fabre’ exhibition in 2015. The city, some private donors together with a fund raising by the inhabitants of the city, paid 500.000 euros for it. The bronze turtle with an discovering man on its back weighs 6,500 kilograms is seven meters long and five meters wide. It is looking  out over the city and ready to take of at any time. Tourists can enjoy it during their visit to the historical Citadel of the city.

Picture by Pixabay

'The Turtle', as everyone calls it, has become an attraction, a place for encounters and a strong symbol of the city. The artwork is a original copy of the one that was built in the city of 'Nieuwpoort', at the Belgian coast.

The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels

The oldest, clear mention of a church on this site dates back to 1047. Duke Lambert II then had a new Roman church built at the Molenberg in honor of Saint Michael, the archangel who is also the patron saint of Brussels. On November 16, 1047, the day on which the Romanesque church became consecrated, the Duke had the relics of the St. Gudula church transfert to the new church. Since then, the church was officially called 'the collegiate of the saints Michael and Gudula'. But most people called it 'the Saint Gudula church'. Strangely enough, the cathedral was officially called 'St. Michael's Church'. The replacement of the Romanesque church with a Gothic building took several centuries. They started around 1220 with the choir aisle and the radiant chapels, to finish with the construction of the two western towers. The southern tower was finished in 1451, the northern one in 1475. Later the choir aisle and blasting chapels were broken down again to make room for the northern ones. The Holy Sacrament Chapel was built in 1539 and the Southern Our Lady's Chapel between 1651 and 1656. The chapel in the apse was replaced between 1672 and 1675 by a baroque construction.

Picture by Pixabay

A whole bunch of architects worked on this long building history. In the 14th century Jacob van Thienen, Jan van Ruysbroek and Gilles de Briedere were the main architects. Later rebuilds were more restorative. In 1860 the monumental staircase was added. The northern portal dates from 1881-1886 and was designed by Louis de Curte. In February 1962 the church got the rank of cathedral and since then she has been the headquarters of the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, together with St-Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen.

Picture by Pixabay
You can find the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula at this address: Sint-Goedelevoorplein, Brussels.

The stone mill of Rijkevorsel

The stone mill is built in 1862 and is the last remaining mill of countless windmills that the municipality of Rijkevorsel once had. Grain was milled here since 1440.

Picture by Pixabay

The stone mill is an upper cruiser. Only the hood is rotatable to the wind. The artificial hill on which the mill is built is called a millmountain or millterp This makes it easier for the millers to sail up the wing of the mill. The mill hull was built by Jan Hoppenbrouwers, a bricklayer from Rijkevorsel. The mill is equipped with one pair of stones to grind grain. A remarkable thing is the large number of windows in the mills hull and the 3 doors that open the mills belt. The heavy-duty windmill turns on a remarkable English made iron construction. There is also a diesel engine (a Blackstone from Stamford, England) dating back to 1950. The mill is a protected monument since 24 June 1993.

You can find the mill at this address: Potbergstraat, Rijkevorsel.