|Package 6: Nivelles - Folon|
The Collégiale Saint-Gertrude of Nivelles and the Folon Foundation.
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The Collégiale Saint-Gertrude.
The town sprang up around the noble abbey founded at the dawn of Christian evangelisation in this country, and, a rare thing in Europe, consisting of a double community, ruled by women.
The exceptional architectural record includes the romanesque church of the 11th century, an archaeological basement, crypt, cloister, westwork and treasures from the 7th to the 18th centuries. Under the Carolingians, it became an imperial abbey, and later, part of the pilgrim route to Compostella. The St Jacques district, at the feet of the church, is a witness to this pilgrimage.
From 646 and the first Merovingian church, to the present, 1350 years of architectural history can be traced. The church is built in the Ottonian style of the great monuments of the Holy Roman Empire : Early Romanesque for the 11th century construction, and Late Romanesque for the exceptional westwork of the late 12th, which is complete and very rare. The ground-plan with a choir at each end is in the Carolingian tradition. The westwork features no less than 8 cupolas : this is unique in Belgium and emphasises the imperial nature of the foundation.
20 minutes from Brussels, in the heart of the wonderful Solvay park , Jean Michel Folon has placed more than 300 works of art in the farm of the Chateau of La Hulpe.
15 exhibition rooms display his water-colours, paintings, engravings, objects, sculptures, posters and illustrations. The lively, interactive accompanying text imagined by Folon guides you on an astonishing voyage into a world of dreams and poetry. Step into a universe where architecture, sound, light and optical illusions combine with the most beautiful images of one of Belgium's great artists.
After your visit, discover the rich flora and fauna of the marvellous Solvay park. 220 hectares of greenery are threaded through with paths and interspersed with tranquil ponds amidst the vast forest- an encounter with fourseasons of creation.
Through his art, Folon invites you to discover his fifth season: that of the imaginary and of poetry.