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If there is one church in Antwerp that deserves to be named monumental, then it is the famous collegiate church of St. James. It is a church where you encounter a harmonious synthesis of tenacious gothic in the architecture and playful baroque in the 17th and 18th century interior fittings.


Actually you do not know where to look first. Under the impressiveness of so much sumptuousness a German visitor in the end of the 19th century said that St. James' as the most prosperous church of the Germanic countries... would earn the right to stand in Venice. As much as the Antwerp citizens have similar sentiments, they still like to keep St. James' to themselves. Further discussion may be had in the café "In St. Jacob" close by, itself a monument worth seeing, although it is only in the shadow of the real St. James', since there is just one.

As with many other European cities, Antwerp does not lack a St. James' sanctuary. In 1431, then outside the city walls, a guesthouse for Northern European pilgrims on the way to the tomb of the apostle St. James in Santiago de Compostela stood here. At the end of the 15th century a small modest chapel was constructed. Only 15 years later when it (...) (More...)
The church building
As parish church St. James' could - following the example of the main church of Our Lady - harbour the altars of a number of smaller crafts and corporations, for example the turf bearers and silk treaters. The musicians, around the lamentable Job, like to show their inspiring wind and string instruments. For some crafts their patron (...) (More...)
Cultural heritage
As from 1695 the quality of baroque sculptural art reached its peak thanks to the altar rail ed by Willem Kerrickx and Hendrik Frans Verbruggen in the Blessed Sacraments' Chapel. St. James is also rich in grave stones and tombs, as it was the parish church of many dignitaries in the 17th and 18th century. (More...)

(c) 2019 MKA | vzw Monumentale Kerken Antwerpen
Groenplaats 21
2000 Antwerpen

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