Église St.Jean Baptiste au Béguinage

Église St.Jean Baptiste au Béguinage (18)

This church in Place du Béguinage is a Baroque-style building that was constructed in 1657 by an architect who remains unknown, although it is clearly inspired by the church of Il Gesù in Rome. The church was consecrated in 1676 for the Beguine community. The Beguines were a group of widows or women from failed marriages who joined this lay order and lived a life of retreat, devoted to charitable work. Also of interest is the fact that a community of over 1,200 Beguines lived on the land that formerly surrounded this church.

You will notice that the church building is a delightful Baroque construction, the facade of which is remarkable for its bulbous towers, which are crowned by some stunning pinnacles. The decoration on its walls and the feeling of movement conveyed by its pilasters and pediments are also eye-catching.

Once inside the church, you will notice its ornamentation, also in Baroque style, which is predominated by the many angel and cherub figures. Its exuberant decoration can also be appreciated in its elaborate architrave and in the niche of the apse, which has a remarkable statue of Saint John the Baptist. 

However, definitely the most interesting item inside the church is the pulpit, which was made by Lambert-Joseph Parant in 1757 and was originally from a church in Malines. The pulpit features a Baroque wood carving that represents the figure of Saint Dominic defeating heresy. 

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