St Martins Cathedral & Monastery, Ieper
This lovely Cathedral is nice outside and inside.
During WW1, it was destroyed, but was rebuilt using many of the original material from the first Cathedral. Spread all over the Cathedral are decorations from different times which survived the destruction. Inside at the back of the Altar, were photo's of the Cathedral in ruins and being rebuilt. I saw the grave of bishop Cornelius Jansen, better known as 'Jansenius', who was condemned as a heretic when he published his new philosophical ideas in his book "Augustinus" in 1638.
On a wall under the organ in the north transept, was a memorial to all the British and British Empire soldiers who died in World War I. This is one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s "cathedral tablets" placed in cathedrals in cathedral towns in France and Belgium where British troops were stationed in World War I.
Behind the Lakenhalle in Ypres is the Vandenpeereboomplein and St. Martin's Square, the former cathedral of Ypres. Around the year 1254 began with the construction to complete then two centuries later
Around the year 1800, the cathedral was demoted to church. Again, the various battles of Ypres and the First World War left its mark
The original church was completely destroyed during the First World War in the period 1922-1930 the church was rebuilt
Fortunately, many of these restored and rebuilt. There are some impressive religious works of art to admire and a beautiful statue of Our Lady of-Thuyne.
The church is located in the center of Ypres behind the Lakenhalle building, the main church of Ypres. The foundation of it would go back to the early 11th century
Whoever runs the church has the feel of a much older church to walk around
Visiting St Martin is absolutely free. During the missing tourists are asked not to walk by the church.
It is difficult to imagine today that this cathedral which has a very beautiful aspect, was entirely rebuilt after the end of WW I. I was very impressed by the elegance and great dimensions of the nave as one discovers it from the entry (photo 1).
Others described here this Episcopal church of Gothic style which goes back to the 13th century. I will not add more comments but I would like to highlight the remarkable reconstruction work completed by the architect Jules Coomans.
If you examine the aerial photograph (n° 2) taken in 1917 you will note the quasi-total destruction of the St Maartens Cathedral.
It happened by chance that the architect Jules Coomans who lived in Ypres before the war had carried out some restorations to the cathedral. When he fled the town, bombed by German artillery, he took the blueprints with him and thus had the exact data of the building in his state of 1914. He raised the bell-tower, something that had been planned before the war (photo 3).
Il est difficile aujourd'hui d'imaginer que cette cathédrale qui a fort belle allure, a été entièrement reconstruite à la fin de la guerre 1914-18. J'ai été très impressionné par l'élégance et les grandes dimensions de la nef tel qu'on la découvre depuis le porche (photo 1).
D'autres ont décrit ici cette église épiscopale de style gothique qui remonte au 13e siècle. Je ne reviendrai pas là-dessus mais j'aimerais mettre en évidence le remarquable travail de reconstruction à l'identique réalisé par l'architecte Jules Coomans.
Si vous examinez la photo aérienne (n° 2) prise en 1917 vous constaterez la destruction quasi-totale de l'église.
Il se fait que Coomans, qui habitait Ypres, avait avant la guerre effectué des restaurations à la cathédrale. Lorsqu'il fuit la ville bombardée par l'artillerie allemande il emporta les plans ainsi que le métré; il disposa ainsi des données exactes de l'édifice dans son état de 1914. Il rehaussa cependant le clocher (photo 3).
In the choir, separated by a window from the remainder of the cathedral, are two tombs which deserve the attention of the visitor.
On the ground is beautiful tomb stone representing Robert of Bethune who was count of Flanders from 1305 till 1322. He is the famous “Lion of Flanders - De Leeuw van Vlaanderen” of the historical novel (1838) of Hendrik Conscience.
The author made a serious historical error because Robert of Bethune was not present at the battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302!
He died indeed in Ypres.
A few steps away one can see on the ground a small stone with the year 1638 engraved. This stone recalls the year of dead of Cornelius Jansenius, very discussed theologian who teached at the University of Louvain from 1617 till 1636, year when he was sacred seventh bishop of Ypres with the support of the King of Spain who ruled at that time Flanders.
His best known theological work the “Augustinus” was published in 1640, after his death, and led to the “Jansenism” which caused great upheaval in the Catholic Church during the 17th century and particularly in France where Louis XIV opposed himself violently to what was regarded as a heresy. The history of Port-Royal is the most known episode.
A very small tomb stone but of great effects.
Dans le chœur, séparé par une vitre du reste de la cathédrale, se trouvent deux tombes qui méritent l'attention du visiteur.
Il y a au sol une grande et belle pierre tombale représentant Robert de Béthune qui fut comte de Flandre de 1305 à 1322. C'est lui le célèbre "Lion des Flandres - De Leeuw van Vlaanderen" du roman historique (1838) de Hendrik Conscience. Les historiens savent que Robert de Béthune n'était pas présent à la bataille des Eperons d'Or de 1302 mais qu'il mourut à Ypres.
Dans le même chœur se trouve au sol une petite pierre avec l'année 1638. Elle rappelle l'année de la mort de Cornelius Jansenius, très controversé théologien qui enseigna à l'Université de Louvain de 1617 à 1636, année où il fut sacré septième évêque d'Ypres avec l'appui du roi d'Espagne.
Son ouvrage théologique le plus connu "Augustinus" fut édité en 1640 après sa mort.
Le "Jansénisme" suscita de grand remous au sein de l'Eglise Catholique pendant le 17e siècle et particulièrement en France où Louis XIV s'opposa violemment à ce qui était considéré comme une hérésie. L'histoire de Port-Royal en est l'épisode le plus connu.
Une toute petite pierre tombale mais de grands effets.
Don't forget the other side *
When you are on the main square, opposite the Cloth Hall head to the right and pass under the arches. You will find yourself in front of the Cathedral of Saint Martin. In fact, Ypres has no bishop since the Concordat of 1801.
But the cathedral to retain his title.
Beautiful architecture, and like all city buildings rebuilt identically after the First World War.
Quand vous serez sur la grand place, face à la halle aux draps dirigez vous vers la droite et passez sous les arches. Vous vous retrouverez face à la cathédrale Saint Martin. En fait, Ypres n'a plus d'évêque depuis le concordat de 1801.
Mais la cathédrale à garder son titre .
Belle architecture, et comme tous les bâtiments de la ville reconstruite à l'identique après la première guerre mondiale.
At the back side of Cloth Hall we visited the huge Saint Martin’s cathedral(Sint-Maarten En Sint-Niklaas). It’s a big roman catholic church, 102 meters tall, one of the tallest buildings in Belgium.
It was built between 1230 and 1370 in gothic style on the site of an old Romanesque church that dated from 10th century. This huge cathedral was part of a monastery until 16th century.
The amazing thing about is that it was totally destroyed during WWI but it was rebuilt in 8 years (1922-1930) like it was before, at least the exterior.
Then we went inside but we didn’t really get excited (I mean we have seen much more impressive interiors) but we enjoyed some interesting things here, paintings, sculptures, tombs of bishops and a beautiful huge rose window (pic 3) that was given by British Royal Air after the war.
Pic 4 shows something that it's impossible to see in an orthodox cathedral :)
The tower of Saint Martin's cathedral is - together with the Belfort - the most destinguised sign from a distance surrounding Ieper. From a far one can recognise both, but especially the highest: the cathedral's tower, rising almost a hundred meters in the air. The wonderful fine decorations of the Gothic style are a lust for the eyes and one can gaze over the cathedral's wings for hours and still discover new items.
Inside the cathedral there is an enormous collection of historical treasures to be seen. Besides the dazzling colours that the light throws in through the beautiful fglas-in-lead windows there are significant gravestones. One is from the knight Robrecht van Bethune, the Lion of Flanders. Also two of the most (in)famous bishops are burried in the cathedral: Martinus Bauwens (1561-1583) and Cornelius Jansenius (1585-1638). seeing this cathedral only from the outside is great, but one should take some extra time and discover the wonders inside. The website I mention states every detail of it and is made by an Ieper-fanatic and citizen.
Saint Martins cathedral is a former Episcopal church in Gothic style and it was reconstructed after the first world war.
It has a beautiful side altar with an altarpiece and the miracle statue of Our Lady of Thuyne.
Next to the St Martin's cathedral is another remarkable monument. It is the Cloister gate.
This Cloister gate gave access towards the St Martin's Cloister. Next to this Cloister gate is the city theatre.
On the right side, near the St Martin's cathedral you can visit the Lapidarian; these are the ruins of the former St Martin's cloister. Here you can also see parts of the destroyed cathedral: thumbplates, destroyed sculptures . . .
These ruins give a bit of an idea of the big destruction during the Great War.
It is certainly worth to visit the interior of the St Martin's Cathedral.
This Cathedral can be visited when there are no services and it is also closed from 12.30 till 14.00.
Unfortunately, there was wedding ceremony going on when we passed there during the VT-meeting of April 21st.
Below the Anneesens - organ there is a remembrance plate to commemorate the 1 (one) Million British soldiers which died during this terrible Great War.
At the south side there is a "rosace" - a sixteen angular stain glass window, given by the British, in order to remember their fallen soldiers and it was designed by Miss Geddes.
A Mural remembers the fallen French soldiers on the left side near the portal.
The big and beautiful St Martin's Cathedral is located not far from the Grote Markt; in fact it is just behind the Cloth Hall.
This Cathedral was a former Episcopal church which was reconstructed in a Gothic style after the Great War.
Important people are buried in this church, among Count Robert of Bethune - the famous "Lion of Flanders".
You can visit this church when there are no services (also it is closed between 12.30 and 14.00)
The tower is 100 metres high and can not be visited.
Besides the St Martin's cathedral is the Lapidarium, which contains the old ruins of St Martin's deanery.
The Saint Martin's Cathedral is an impressive church. Like the Lakenhal is has completely destroyed in the first World War and rebuilded with great care using original stones as much as possible.
In the Monastry garden at the North side of the church there still are many original stones left and restauration is a continuous activity.
Is the 10.2.1940 classified. The tower is 102 m high and rebuild in 1922-30 (Arch. Cooman ,Ieper) It's a faithful rebuild from the 13 th cent. gotic church. Only the top of the tower was addid.
During the restauration in 19 th cent was the gate on the south side change and where 3 gates made as the french cathedraal example. But after WWI is rebuild in the first form.
The gigantic Cathedral of Saints Martin and Nicholas has a huge rose window in stained glass donated by the British Royal Air Force to the King and the people of Belgium in memory of the war.
Outside the cathedral's main entrance, to the left, is found a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in gold, standing on a crescent on a pillar, trampling on the head of the serpent. It is a Christian symbol of Mary's entrustment by God as bearer of salvation and the defeat of evil. It is also an interpretation of verses from the Book of the Apocalypse or Revelation usually read on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 15 August.
"1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days."