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A Cathedral never stands alone. Through secularisation and modern urbanization we forget that only the church controlled and carried out many social functions in the past. There was the care for education in the so-called Papenschool, for singing in the Choraelhuys (Choral house), for the poor at the Table of the Holy Ghost, for the sick in the Our Lady's Guest house, and for the dead in the church graveyard, nowadays the Groenplaats. Later the Bishop's Palace, a public library and the diocesan seminary followed. When the carillon plays on Monday during a summer evening you realise how much the church forms part of the local scene and in the real town atmosphere.

The history of the largest gothic church building of the Low Lands starts in 1124. An old chapel became a parish church, which resulted in a respectable church in Romanesque style. Next, it was replaced from 1352 on, by the now existing gothic church. It took 170 years before it was finished in its contemporary (...) (More...)
The church building
The unique and elegant tower of our Lady is the symbol of Antwerp and remains the pride of all citizens, so-called "sinjoren". The construction of the church really reached its "highlight" in 1518: 123m. It is hard to imagine how such a sturdy base can slowly be transformed and finally be dissolved into thin air. A (...) (More...)
The Cathedral is best known for the paintings by Rubens like the "Raising of the Cross" and the "Descent of the Cross", moving theatrical scenes which invite you once again to witness the drama of Jesus' suffering and death. These world famous creations by Rubens with their splendid colours and typical diagonal baroque (...) (More...)

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

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