• Attractions
  • Monument
  • Religious heritage

The jacquemart (an animated mechanised figure which strikes the hours on a bell with a hammer) of the Sainte-Gertrude collegiate church in Nivelle is one of 3 in Wallonia. Made of gold plates brass, this representation of a warrior is quite impressive in size: 2 metres high and 350 kg in weight! The locals are so used to the automaton marking the passing of time the city would not be the same without it.

The automaton, given to Nivelles by Charles the Bold in the XVth century, was first placed on the town hall before being transferred to the south tower of the collegiate church in 1617. The locals first named him Jean de Nivelles, a reference to a popular song and expression at the time (Source: Wikipedia). In time, the name would become Djan Djan.

The Sainte-Gertrude collegiate church

The Jewel of Nivelles in Brabant-Wallon province is the Collegiate Church of St Gertrude which was consecrated in 1046 in the presence of Henry lll, the Emperor of the Holy Germanic Empire.

The imposing sanctuary is in Otto-Roman style and stands out because of its unusual layout, having two transepts and two choirs. The central nave is 102 metres long making it one of the longest in the world.

The west end (or "west-bau") consists of an apse, two chapel-galleries and a large high room called the "salle impériale" (Imperial room) and an octagonal belfry flanked by two side towers

The crypt, the archaeological basement and the cloister can also be visited.

Visitors with specific needs

Please click here to see the list of facilities and activities accessible to visitors with reduced mobility. Wallonia has developed the Access-i  program to give travellers a clear understanding of what the infrastructures offer.


COVID : We do our best to inform you with the latest updates... Best, though, to check with the operator or lodging you have made a booking with before getting on the road. Please note that the Covid Safe Ticket (or health passport) is mandatory in Wallonia.  Infos

Before getting on the road, do contact the closest tourist office to your destination. If you are going to the Hautes Fagnes, please remember the number of visitors is limited each day. The Hautes Fagnes Tourist Office will give you the latest details. The Luxembourg and East Cantons Tourist Office will give you the ski slopes opening times. For additional skiing and winter sports information in Belgium, you can contact the East Contons Tourist Office.

This information is given for indication purposes only, best to check with the site you hope to visit before heading there - by phone, email, social media or simply by visiting their website.


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