Tongeren (Belgium)| Museum Cellar Our Lady Nativity Basilica


The Our Lady Nativity Basilica in Tongeren is a religious landmark. In the oldest town in Belgium, this beautiful basilica rises majestically above the old buildings.. Between the foundations of the church lie up to four meters of remains of predecessor buildings. To the public, these relics - which together form one of the most valuable archaeological sites of Flanders – are not visible. The city government saw a unique opportunity and wanted the labyrinth formed by the different phases of the church made accessible to the public.


Marc Kocken (with ADC Heritage) and Harry Derks (DLA + landscape architects) were commissioned to develop an initial plan for the recovery of the remains beneath the basilica. In the proposed cellar museum, one will journey through 2000 years of religious experience. Here Romans sacrificed at their home altar. Servatius had the headquarters of his mission post. And between the wood and mud houses of the medieval city the magnificent stone basilica formed the heart of the community, proudly propagated: the saints were honored here by rich and poor alike.