Notre-Dame du Sablon/Onze-Lieve-Vrouw op de Zavel
(Church) (Rue des Sablons)
   The church of Notre-Dame du Sablon, also known as Notre-Dame des Victoires, stands on the site of an oratory built by the guild of crossbowmen in this sandy (sablon) marshland in 1304. Legend affirms that in 1348 during the Black Death, Beatrice Soetkens, a pious woman of Antwerp, followed a command of the Virgin Mary and took a statue of the Virgin, said to work miracles, from an Antwerp church and carried it on a boat down the Scheldt and Senne Rivers to Brussels, where she gave it to the crossbowmen. The guild members resolved to build a fitting edifice for the statue, and they proceeded to replace their modest church with the current structure. The choir was completed in 1435, the transept about 1450, the nave in the latter part of the 15th century, and the main door about 1530. It was totally restored at the turn of the 20th century. The church represents an outstanding example of Late Gothic architecture. The ommegang originated as a festival in honor of the Virgin whose statue from the church served as the centerpiece of processions.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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