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It was in 1134 that Godfrey I (1095-1139) The Bearded, Duke of Lorraine and first Duke of Brabant, founded a Benedictine deanery in Brussels with a chapel open to the public. He bequeathed the buildings to Abbot Parvin and the Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Sepulchre in Cambrai. The deanery lay between the first and second rampart, opposite the stone gate, in the middle of the historical weavers’ district, and belonged to the parish of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula. In 1134, it was consecrated to the Virgin, to whose worship it has been dedicated ever since, hence its name (Notre-Dame de la Chapelle, Our Lady of the Chapel). The present-day monastery is led by a prior.
In 1210, following an agreement between the Chapter of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula and the Abbot of Cambrai, the chapel was raised to the status of parish church, with the resultant construction of a larger building, the different stages of wich lasted into the 17th century. During the French Revolution, in 1797, the Sans-culottes (revolutionaries) first ransacked then closed the church, which became State property, and the monks had to leave their monastery. Under the terms of a concordat between Popoe Pius VII and Napoleon on 15th July 1801, the church became the centre of a city parish.