This is something you can do in most churches and cathedrals, all right.
But I usually never do it, and I don't know why, I felt so good inside this magnificent temple that I decided to light one. It's always good to stop to meditate for a while in the middle of all the sightseeing and photos rush :)
Built between 1352 and 1521, an incredible 170 year span, the CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY or Onze Lieve Vrouw Kathedral, boasts a 123 metre high tower.
A masterpiece of lace work in stone, the magnificent Tower of the Cathedral contains a carillon of 47 bells.
Located on Handschoenmarkt, the Cathedral is clearly visible from most areas of the city.
Inside, you will find some world-famous paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, including " The Elevation of the Cross" -- "The Descent of the Cross" -- "The Assumption" and "The Resurrection"
Admission to the Cathedral is 2 Euros for Adults.
Perhaps the most interesting edifice in Antwerp is the Gothic-style Cathedral of Notre Dame (the 14 and 15th centuries), which is surmounted by a spire 121.9m high.
The Cathedral contains several paintings by the 17th-century Flemish artist Rubens, who spent most of his life in Antwerp.
Antwerp is what I call a church city. Churches everywhere, each one having some specificty. Please, notice that I only visited one of them but intend to visit some of them in a near future. Amongst the most important, find those:
The most important has its cathedral status: Onze Lieve-Vrouwkathedraal. It is located on Groundplaats. It spreads out on 1 ha. It is the biggest gothic cathedral of the old Low Countries (Belgium and Holland). Venerated since 9 centuries, it is Antwerp symbol. With its 123 meters high spire and strange bulb cupola, it can be seen from wherever you are in Antwerp area. I like the tower design, like a lacework in stone...
Carrolus Borromeus kerk... A lot to say: an exuberant baroque façade, in a style adopted by the Jesuits. It is located on Conscienceplaats, formerly known as Jezuitsplaats. It is reported to be partly the work of P.P.Rubens. For me, the most beautiful of what I saw. It has a tower of 58 meter height. Its name came from it was dedicated to the Italian archbishop Borromeo. The interior is said to be of an unbelievable wealth. Nevertheless, it had to pay a heavy toll to a grand fire in 1718 (39 ceiling paintings of Rubens). Interior is said to be somptuous with wide range of colours as for marble pieces... and worth noticing, it took the Jesuits some 7 years to build it. Imagine, only seven years. The Carolus Borromeus church uses to host sacred music concerts that are reported to attract melomans of all cultures, Christians and non-Catholics alike.
Sint Jacobskerk. It is the tomb of the Prince of Painting, Peter Paul Rubens. The Church has twenty-three altars. Rubens’ tomb lies behind the main altar in the Chapel of Our Lady. The painting ‘Our Lady surrounded by saints’ was painted by him for his burial monument.
Fondest memory: The only church I visited up to now in Antwerp is Sint Andrieskerk. For me, it may have been the most touching since it was designed for miserable people. I will return there for better pictures and more learning.
Sint Andrieskwartier is the area where Hendrik Conscience was born (XIX century). He is the first author who wrote in Flemish... very prolific and is said "to have taught Flemish people to read". Given his backgrounds, one can easily guess some dark, moralistic and romantic touch in him.
I saw there some eclectical interior setting: woodcurving, iron-stained glass, impressive embroidery... and a gown designed by Ann Demeulemesteer, on Virgin Mary, of course. This is the most unknown of Antwerp's churches though it contains some pieces of art. Like this baroque high altar, which originated from the former Cistercian Abbey of St. Bernard in Hemiksem. Some pictures would be in an upcoming Tlog.
And by the way, do you now Antwerp's second cathedral? Drop me a line or look for answer through my must-see activities.. :-)
Impressive Our Lady's Cathedral (Onze Lieve-Vrouwkathedraal) was my fondest memory from Antwerp. Its huge interiors contain a lot of masterpieces of various art: paintings by Paul Rubens among them.
Buy a guide to the cathedral or at least take a leaflet at the entrance to get to know what you see - available at least in Dutch, English, French and German. And if you are interested take more time, there are seven naves inside.
Fondest memory: Our Lady's Cathedral
Fondest memory: The atmosphere on the Marketsquare in the evening. Terraces, people busy with watching and talking, while drinking a cool lovely beer (Belgium beer is better!, that's why we export so much all over the world - hahaha). Hmmm, that's what makes the Lowlands (Belgium as well as Holland) so special - but in Blegium they can do it still slightly better then up here North.
Favorite thing: On the east side of the river Schelde one will find Antwerp. It is the second city of Belgium andhas about 500.000 citizens. It is the centre of interantional diamond trade. This trade is done in the streets around the Centraal Station, although you will hardly notice. A short walk from the Centraal Station you will find the cinty centre of Antwerp. Right in the middle of it you will find the Grote Markt., the big market square. Conveniently located around this square you will find most sights that Antwerp has to offer. Such as the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe-Cathedral, Het Steen, St. Paulus church, Rubenshuis and of course the Grote Markt in itself is very nice to see too.
Favorite thing: On the right of the front gate of the Cathedral of Our Lady, (http://www.dekathedraal.be) you find the statue of Appelmans. The nice thing on this statue is that there is one person too much. This is an animator, and sit there every day a week, as long I can remember. If he sits still you cannot see the difference of the others. It is an amazing sight to see. I do not write here about the Cathedral of Our Lady. You can read more of it in my “must see activities” or in the “Cathedral” travelogue… So, check out there please.
Fondest memory: My first day of sightseeing was spent exploring. I had little preparation time so I was very ill informed of what Antwerp had to offer. I took the tram from our Hotel to close to the Grotemarkt which I had seen in pictures that did not do it justice. I next strode over to a small triangular sqaure called the handshoenmarkt. I knew I had seen a Cathedral spire at some point but I was not prepared for what I would see there. The Antwerp Cathedral was incredible to say the least. I spent firty-five minutes jsut looking at the vignettes in thee doorway!
The interior of the Cathedral is magnificent, however many of the Masterpieces of art were stolen in the 18th century during the French Revolution.
The Cathedral is also very famous because of his magnificent collection of stained – glass windows, some of them still date from the 15th and 16th century.
Favorite thing: Antwerp's main church is the baroque Cathedral of Our Lady, built over 169 years starting in 1352. The statue nearby is of Pieter Paul Rubens, one of the Flemish Masters who painted in Antwerp.
It is just very laid back and the begians know how to enjoy life!
Fondest memory: The square in front of the cathedral