The National Basilica of Belgium - Koekelberg

The view from the dome - towards the center of Brussels

and towards the north - you can see the Atomium and the large tree and green area to the right of that is where the royal palaces are.

The top of the cover over the altar

Inside the dome - it is 89.9 meters above floor level.

Some of the vast space inside the Basilica

The stained glass windows are very impressive and span many years (some are still needed - they are waiting on donations and funding).  The church was consecrated in 1952 and many of the windows were donated by groups that have a connection to WWII - this one is from the mothers of those who died in WWI and WWII.

This is the largest window - above the main door.  It is so massive that you cannot see it all in the picture.

This is a close up of the figure at the top of the large window.

The stained glass spans many years and comes in many styles - it is very interesting to see how the styles change over time!

From the back looking at the National Altar - a second altar for regular services is located beyond this one.

The second altar for regular services.

A model of the Basilica - made before the building was finished to be shown in an art competition in Paris.  It was the first competition for Art Deco style and this model won!

The Basilica is the 5th largest church in size in the world - behind a massive structure in Africa that is 190 meters long (and built by a local ruler just to be bigger than St. Peters), St. Peter's in Rome is 187 meters long, St. Paul's in London is 158 meters, and St. Maria del Fiori in Florence is 149 meters long.  The Basilica here is 141 meters long.  Our King Leopold is responsible for the size - he loved to build everything big!  It has taken over 65 years and 5 kings so far to build the Basilica, which is still not finished.  For each World War, work had to be stopped and then started again when funding would allow, although it was always a priority.