St Petrus & Paulus Church, Oostende
When arriving in Oostende and leaving the railway station, Saint Peter and Paul's church is one of the first monument you see. This neo-gothic church, built in 1904-1905, was designed by architect Delacenserie. Inside the church is the mausoleum for Belgium's first queen Louise-Marie who died in Oostende in 1850.
The stained-glass windows show the portraits of different Belgian Kings. And it's beautiful when the sun shines on it.
These two church spires and the smell of the North Sea were the two main reasons I decided to stay in Oostende after accidentally oversleeping on the train. Immediately after exiting the train station, I noticed the two towers and figured I'd leave my bag at the station and go explore for a couple hours. The church appears much older than it actually is, having been completed in 1905 by architect Delacenserie. There is however, a tower behind the church that is a remnant from the previous church that occupied this space. The tower is called the 'Peperbusse', or pepper shaker due to its shape and its first brick dates to the 15th century.
The church is Neo-Gothic in style and is most notable for the mausoleum inside for Belgium's first queen, Louise-Marie.
The church of Sint Petrus En Pauluskerk was completed in 1905 after its predecessor burnt down in 1896. The church was modelled after Cologne’s Cathedral and Vienna's Votivkirche and inside is the mausoleum for Belgium's first queen Louise-Marie who died in Ostend in 1850. The stained-glass windows show the portraits of different Belgian Kings.
All the original stained glass windows were destroyed in the World Wars. The current glass shows the portraits of different Belgian Kings and Queens and Saints Peter and Paul.
This very impressive gothic church looks really old but in fact construction was only started in 1899 at the behest of King Leopold II and finished at some point in the first decade of the 20th century (but sources seem to disagree as to the exact year - I've read 1905, 1907 and 1908 in different accounts. What is agreed is the date of consecration which is 31st August 1908).
I'm told it's modeled on Cologne cathedral, but as I've not yet had the pleasure of a trip to Cologne I can't really comment on that, all I can say is that it's well worth a visit whilst in Oostend.
The exterior is a true neo-gothic festival and interestingly it has it's most impressive front (usually west facing in most churches) facing east. This is apparently so that it's most impressive aspect was that first seen by visitors to Oostende arriving at the port or train station.
During the World Wars the stained glass windows were destroyed and after the wars they were replaced by much more modern designs by Michael Martens and they show Belgian kings and queens as well as St Peter and St Paul.
If the Church is open then you should take a look inside! It's dark and full of atmosphere that defies the relative youth of this church (only just over 100 years old despite it's appearance). Come in the late afternoon and the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows makes a real show of colour for you to enjoy.
The original stained galss was blown out during the last world war and the new modern style is the work of Michiel Martens and shows Saints Peter and Paul as well as Belgian Kings and Queens.
There are also some beautifully carved "stations of the cross" along the walls.
After the destruction by fire of its predecessor - a 16th Century church - the new twin-towered Saint Peter and Paul's Cathedral was completed in Neo-Gothic style in 1905. It is modeled after Cologne Cathedral and Vienna's Votivkirche.
Many suspected King Leopold II had started the fire in the old church, because he wanted a grand new church. Despite looking like an ancient Gothic church most of what is left today was built at the beginning of the 20th Century and is a good example of how to build a modern church without making it ugly.
Inside stands the white marble mausoleum of Belgium's first Queen Louise-Marie, a popular royal who captured the hearts of the Belgian people, she died in Oostende in October 1850.
Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk as it`s known in Dutch.
When we visited last September, there was a bloody
huge big wheel in front of the church, just seemed to
make more interesting pictures.
This is the main church of Ostend, and is a Neo-Gothic style church.
The history begins begins with the destruction by fire of its predecessor,
the Pieterskerk, on August 14, 1896. All that remains of the Pieterskerk
is the impressive brick tower called the Peperbus, which stands nearby.
The new church was built on the ashes of a previous church that occupied the site.
King Leopold II enterprised a plan to build a new and more
magnificent church. Building and construction started in 1899
and was completed
and consecrated on by Bishop Waffelaert on August 31, 1908.
Its stained glass windows were sadly destroyed during the two
World Wars (Ostend was heavily bombed during WW2) and were
replaced by stained glass by Michiel Martens. The church is
70 meters long and 30 meters wide. Its spires are 72 meters high.
The church was built in Neo-Gothic style according to plans by
architect Louis de la Censerie who based his plans on the Gothic
Cologne Cathedral and the Neo-Gothic Votivkirche in Vienna, both
which I have visited and think this is more of a modest version.
We never got to go inside because of lack of time, but I would love
to take some pictures of the interior on my next visit.
Unusually, the monumental west front of the church does not actually
face west, but east. This is so that the church puts its most impressive
face towards travellers arriving in Ostend's port. The "east front" contains
three portals, with decorative patterns in the tympaneum over the central portal.
The images of Peter, the Virgin Mary and Paul were carved by the Antwerp
sculptor Jean-Baptiste van Wint. High above the portal is a grand rose
window flanked by blind arches.
All the original stained glass windows were destroyed in the World Wars.
The current glass was designed by Michiel Martens (1921-2006).
The windows depict Belgian kings and queens and Saints Peter and Paul.
The funeral chapel of the Belgian Queen Louise-Marie,
who died in Ostend in 1850, was built on to the choir.
Next to the new church is the brick church tower known as
"Peperbus," which dates from the first half of the 18th century
and contains 15th-century remains from the old church.
Names: Sint Petrus-en-Pauluskerk; Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
Type of site: Church
Faith: Roman Catholic
Architect: Louis de la Censerie (1838-1909) of Bruges
Size: 70m long x 36 m wide x 72m high
This church is a sort of symbol of Oostende. It was built in 1904-05, according to the designs by Delacenserie.
Inside the church, there's the mausoleum of Belgian 1st queen, Louise-Marie, who died in Oostende in 1850.
If you take a closer look at its stained-glass windows, you'll see the portraits of different Belgian kings.
An impressive building located near the promenade of Ostend - direction Harbour and symbol of the royal history !
Old and new architecture goes not always together - even in a so called "Queen City" like Ostend
This church was built in 1904-1905 in a neo-gothic style. Inside the church is the mausoleum for Belgium's first queen Louise-Marie who died in Oostende in 1850. The stained-glass windows show the portraits of different Belgian Kings.
You can find it opposite the railway station and the Amandine.
The St.Peter and St.Paul church.
In the church of St. Peter and St. Paul stands the mausoleum of Queen Louise-Marie, wife of King Leopold I. Belgium's first queen led a short and unhappy life. At the age of twenty she had to marry Leopold of Saxonia Coburg who had accepted to be the first king of the newly created Belgian State. This over-romantic woman dearly loved her lying and cheating husband. Very often the Belgian press,as well as the Belgian population, who were angered by the amorous scandals of Leopold took the side of the sad and lonely queen. She died in Oostende in October 1850. Her white marble mausoleum was made in 1859 by K. Fraikin.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul's church.
When visitors arrive in Oostende from the railway station their attention is immediately captured by the twin towers of the Saint Peter and Saint Paul's church. This neo-gothic church, built in 1904-1905, was designed by architect Delacenserie.The use of sandstone sets it apart from other churches in the Province of West-Flanders that are mostly entirely built with bricks. Inside the church is the mausoleum for Belgium's first queen Louise-Marie who died in Oostende in 1850. The stained-glass windows show the portraits of different Belgian Kings. Next to the church is an older tower (the 'Peperbusse') a remainder of the former church from the 18th century that stood here before it was destroyed by fire in 1896.The first stone of the tower itself was laid on July the 20th 1478. The tower now houses a small museum.
This is a fine example of late-Gothic cathedral design. Completed in 1905, it replaced an earlier church that had been destroyed by fire. Louis de la Censerie, the architect, modelled it after the even larger cathedral in Cologne, Germany. Michiel Martens created the stained-glass windows, replacing the originals which were destroyed in the World Wars.
One peculiar feature is the way it's oriented. The front, which normally faces west, actually faces east. This is to greet visitors coming from the city's port.
This was the most amazing church in the world. I am definately not the religous type, and may not have seen very many, but this one is by far the grandest and has the most achitecural detail. This is a must see!