The church of Saint-Hadelin of Celles is a former collegiate church in the Romanesque style built in the 11th century. Constructed on the site where St Hadelin withdrew at the end of the 7th century, the church was the heir to a monastic foundation that from the 10th century housed a college of canons and was later the site of a pilgrimage. The building is one of the first examples of religious Romanesque architecture. It was substantially restored in 1590 (particularly the front section) and again in the 19th and 20th centuries. The church is made up of juxtaposed spaces that are fairly straightforward to interpret.
The façade consists of a front section enclosed by two semi-circular stair turrets. Above is the west tower, which is on four levels. The tower is capped by an octagonal spire flanked by four small spires. Entry to the church is through two side entrances located in the first bay of the north and south side aisles. The gutter-bearing walls, as well as the side aisle walls and the chancel feature blind arcatures, which are typical of Roman architecture.
The nave and side aisles run in length along five bays. The transept is not very prominent and low. The north arm has a neo-Roman chapel dating from 1858, while the crossing is delineated by a diaphragm arch. The chancel ends in a semi-circular apse with sphered vault and two absidioles. The church also has two crypts, one in the west, situated under the tower and the other, in the east, beneath the chancel. This half-buried east crypt is made up of nine bays of ridges supported by pillars and pilasters.
Note the features of the Mosan-style Romansque architecture, such as the projecting front, the massive tower, the flat ceilings, the marked horizontality of the nave, the simplicity of the interior décor and the installation of coating inside and outside.
Exceptional heritage site of Wallonia