Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp


After 169 years of construction, the cathedral rose

For more than a thousand years, people in Antwerp have honored and honored Our Lady, the patroness of both the city and the cathedral. From the 9th to the 12th century, where the cathedral now stands, there was a small chapel of Our Lady, which was granted parish church status in 1124. During the 12th century, a larger Romanesque church occurred in its place. Wall and foundation residues show that it was 80 metres long and 42 metres wide and must have looked like the St. Maria im Kapitol in Cologne. The construction of a new church was started in 1352, which would become the largest Gothic church in the Netherlands. It was originally intended to provide the church with two towers of equal height. After nearly 169 years [1352-1521], the Cathedral of Our Lady rose above Antwerp with its 123 metres height. After the new church was largely destroyed by fire on the night of 5 to 6 October 1533, all energy and resources went to reconstruction. The completion of the second tower was delayed, which in fact led to its discontinuation. In addition, it did not become the Diocese Church of Antwerp until 1559 and thus a cathedral, although it lost this title again from 1801 to 1961 because the diocese was dissolved during this period.

As an architectural work, mainly constructed from raw and white natural stone, the Cathedral of Our Lady is an impressive example of Brabant Gothic. Among its main features include a decorative integration of architectural and sculptural art, a sober and open interior architecture based on complex construction, spatial and vertical effects and a subtle play of light and shadow. The church has a high northern tower and a lower southern one, an octagonal lantern or cross tower, with an onion top, seven side aisles, a crossing aisle, a choir, a choir and five choral chapels and six sideways oriented chapels. A century was devoted to the construction of the northern tower, which evolves the style from a robust high-Gothic downstairs to a sophisticated Late Gothic top. The lower parts are heavy and square, with few ornaments, while higher up the tower is becoming richer and more airy. The spire resembles stone lace. a cross beech, a choir, a choir and five choral chapels and six side chapels. A century was devoted to the construction of the northern tower, which evolves the style from a robust high Gothic downto a sophisticated Late Gothic top. The lower parts are heavy and square, with few ornaments, while higher up the tower is becoming richer and more airy. The spire resembles stone lace. a transverse aisle, a choir, an ambulatory choir and five choral chapels and six sidefacing chapels. A century was devoted to the construction of the northern tower, which evolves the style from a robust high-Gothic downstairs to a sophisticated Late Gothic top.

The 1533 fire is far from the only disaster that has been plagued by the cathedral. Just 33 years later, during the Image Storm of 20 August 1566, the Protestants destroyed much of the precious interior. In 1581, when Antwerp came under Protestant rule, a number of art treasures and furniture were destroyed, removed or sold again. It was only after 1585 with the return of the Roman Catholic authority that the peace returned. Two centuries later, another disaster struck. In 1794, the French revolutionaries took over our regions, plundering the Cathedral of Our Lady and badly damaged. Around 1798, the French even played with the idea of leveling the building.

But after every battle, the cathedral managed to restore itself. In 1816, several important works of art, including three Rubens masterpieces, returned from Paris. Throughout the 19th century, the church was completely restored and refurbished. Another complete restoration took place between 1965 and 1993. Four masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens can be found in the Cathedral of Our Lady: The Cross Foundation (1609-1610) , Triptych with the Resurrection of Christ (1611-1612) , Cross Take( 1611-1614) and Ascension of the Virgin (1625-1626) . Throughout the cathedral there are various works by Baroque artists such as: Otto van Veen , Maerten de Vos , Hendrick van Balen I , Cornelis Schut I and Artus Quellinus II .

antwerpen
antwerpen

only the very attentive reader can i invite on one virtual tour within this impressive cathedral with breathtaking architectural style and works of art. Immerse yourself in this splendor as it will give you a deep impression.

Restoration works have been completed by the middle of 2022. The racks disappear and the tower is once again fully admired.

This video I recorded Monday, November 14 in 2016, so a while ago. When the carillon concerts start back, will depend after the full renovation of our cathedral.

Den Beiaard was a household name in Antwerp in the 80'ties and the 90'ties. Every Monday night, during the summer months, Antwerp's Old Town was filled with. For some music lovers, it was a fixed time to enjoy the carillon of the cathedral in the Vlaaikensgang. For many it was an extra weekly exit night.

You can read more about the history of Antwerp carillon behind the link below.

More



50 comments