Church of our Lady

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Sint-Truiden

Situated high above Sint-Truiden, the Church of Our Lady is easily recognisable from afar. Not only is it a landmark in the landscape, it also houses rare heritage! Descending into the crypt below the church you will find a treasure chamber containing 2 of the 15 remaining painted reliquaries.

Church of our Lady

The church has a deep-rooted connection to Saint Trudo, who established the Benedictine abbey in the 17th century. In the 11th century Abbot Adelard II commissioned the construction of a wooden church, the city’s first parish church, at this location. The church comprises many references to the saint, including the shrine containing his relics below the central altar. The building underwent various transformations, from wood to stone and from Roman to neo-Gothic style. The most recent restoration was completed in 2018. To this day the interior of the church is richly decorated with stained glass windows, murals, sculptures, paintings and precious metal art. The treasury, which is located in the crypt below the church, contains liturgical objects, including reliquaries, apostle statues and monstrances.

Reliekschrijn van de heilige Trudo
Reliekschrijn van de heilige Eucherius

Reliquary of Saint Eucherius (1501-1525)

The 16th-century reliquary of Saint Trudo is one of the few painted reliquaries that survived the 1566 iconoclasm. The red coloured shrine is decorated with a green floral motif and sealed with a banderole, which states that the ashes and linen cloths are from Saint Trudo the Confessor. Saint Trudo is recognisable on the side panels with his white albe, red choir cap and baroque gold buckle with palm branch and church model in his hand. Legend has it that he was ordained a priest in 655, at the age of 27. He was commissioned to spread Christianity in Haspengouw and travelled around preaching. Trudo founded a monastery with a church on his parental estate, where the Abbey of Sint-Truiden still stands today. After his death in 693, miracles were reported around his tomb, leading to it becoming an increasingly popular pilgrimage site and the development of a community in the 8th century.

Reliquary of Saint Eucherius (1501-1525)

Which secrets does the 16th-century shrine of Eucherius hold, hidden below sinuous green plant motifs? The red inscription states: "SCS EUCH" and refers to Saint Eucherius. Born in Orléans into an affluent family, he joined the Benedictines of Jumièges as a monk around 714. He later became bishop of Orléans, but in 733 Charles Martel exiled him to Cologne because of his criticism of the confiscation of church property. He eventually became a protégé of Count Robert I of Haspengouw, following which he retired to the Benedictine abbey of Saint Trudo in Sint-Truiden. He died in 743 and was buried alongside Saint Trudo. Miraculous stories soon circulated and his tomb became a place of pilgrimage. Unlike Saint Trudo's shrine, no effigy of Eucherius was painted here. You can find him in the Church of Our Lady though on the mural entitled The Vision of Eucherius and Litany of Marie by Jules Helbig.

Christina de Wonderbare door Georges Baltus

Christina the Astonishing, Georges Baltus

Saint Christina hovers above the three distinctive towers of Sint-Truiden: the Abbey of Saint Trudo, the town hall and the Church of Our Lady. Eyes closed and arms outstretched she offers protection to the city. Sint-Truiden’s history is shrouded in the red glow of war violence. The prayer in the frame composed by the dean at that time, Beckers, begs for protection from plague, famine and war. Georges Baltus donated the artwork to his hometown church in 1915 as a tribute to his youth. One year earlier Baltus had been surprised by the German invasion during his summer vacation in Sint-Truiden and was unable to return to Glasgow. He was staying in his family home on Grote Markt at the time, where he completed the painting of Christina. He reportedly told a priest that the inspiration for this painting came from Christina the Astonishing by Abraham van Diepenbeeck, a pupil of Rubens.

The Last Judgment, Johannes van den Eenheu

High up in a sky of dark grey clouds, Christ sits on a globe, accompanied by Mary. Above them, angels hover with weapons of Christ, while saints on either side watch Christ. On earth, the dead are rising from their graves and angels are guiding them to heaven or hell. Johannes van den Eenheu painted The Last Judgment in 1626 after Johann Sadeler’s 16th-century engraving. Sadeler, in turn, took inspiration from a work by the German painter Christoph Schwarz (1545-1592). Van den Eenheu's mural is an almost faithful copy, except for two figures at the bottom. They fill the spaces in the corners, which are absent in Sadeler's circular engraving, but there may be more to it. The Church of Our Lady was a collegiate church involving 12 canons. Jacobus Germeys, the dean of the chapter between 1606 and 1624, was the brother of Abbot Hubert Germeys. Because of his family connection, Jacobus was viewed with suspicion and accused of embezzling capital. Rumours persisted after his death in 1624. Not happy with these allegations, the abbot allegedly ordered the painter to add two figures: the praying figure is said to represent Jacobus Germeys, while the green monster, representing the colour of envy, refers to the statement ‘Look in the mirror first before accusing someone!’. 

Het Laatste Oordeel door Johannes van den Eenheu

Practical information


Grote Markt
3800 Sint-Truiden
View directions

Opening hours

•    The church is open every day from 09.00 to 18.00 hrs.
•    The treasury is open every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday from 14.00 to 17.00 hrs.



•    The church is easily accessible to people with disabilities,
•    but the treasury is not easily accessible to people with disabilities.

Good to know

  • Admission: free

Other sites nearby

Het Sacramentshuis van Cornelis II Floris (detail)
The tabernacle of Cornelis II Floris, a tower which appears to reach up to the sky, is in itself worth a trip to Zoutleeuw.
Koorbanken, Ghijsbrecht Hechtermans
Borgloon’s Church of Saint Odulphus houses the 13th-century reliquary of Saint Odilia, a unique exhibit in Flanders!