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.
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.
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.
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