Geraardsbergen is an old and curious Flemish city founded in 1068 by Baudouin, Count of Flanders. Located on the Dendre, on the language border, it is known for its festival of Krakelingenworp (the throwing of crispy brioche rolls) and for its gastronomical speciality: the ‘mattentaartje’ (a maton tart, on a base of macaroons).
The Grand-Place of Geraardsbergen has many points of attraction: the town hall and middle-class homes, a Gothic fountain, called the ‘Marbol’ (Now people who want to combine beauty and silence, should let their path take them to the church, a Neo-Gothic structure of bricks and Tournai stone with its roots in the 14th century.)
Due to the hilly nature of the surrounding area, the church was partially buried in the hill by the builders. The current configuration dates from the years 1880-1896. Under the columns and the imposing vaults, the Neo-Gothic altars, the rood screen, the confessionals, the stained glass windows, the frescos and the floor coverings reflect the desire to adorn the church in loveliness.
Louis Bert, the chairman of the parochial church council, was the creative force behind this renovation. He and his wife are represented in a stained glass window of the old chapel to Saint George, which is an integral part of the church of today.
In the deambulatory, five other chapels have been expanded. The chapel of Saint Adrian contains the only Baroque altar to have survived the later decoration of the church.
A brochure in the church gives the locations of thirty other works.
A few years ago the inhabitants of Geraardsbergen devoted a book of photos to their church.