Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Antwerp Cathedral


Thanks for popping by.

How dreadful was the sad news of the fire in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after 850 years.  It sounds that more has been saved than originally thought which is a blessing.  On the blog today we're back to Antwerp, visiting their glorious Cathedral of Our Lady.  Although it dates from 1124, there have been many additions over the years in the styles at the time.  It's positioned right in the middle of the old town, surrounded by buildings making it difficult to see all of the Cathedral at once but the 123m tall tower with its large clock, peeps over the top and can be viewed from afar. It's incredible to think that the Cathedral can hold 25,000 people.

There is a carillon of 49 bells of which the 1507 Karolus is the heaviest at 6,434 kg.

Let's go inside.

The 24 life size statues for Confessionals below made in 1700, are so detailed and beautifully carved.

The Mary Chapel, a large area full of stained glass windows, gold, silver and flowers, has a 16th Century statue of Mary with Jesus as a focus which really draws the eye.  These statues have a fantastic wardrobe of clothes that are often changed. This area is for prayer only.

The Raising of the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens has had a central place within the Cathedral since 1816 and is a masterpiece full of drama and pathos. A tour guide was in full flow.

There's lots of colour.

Some modern art too.  This is Diasporalia by Koen Theys.  The mattresses and personal items on top are made of bronze and then painted to draw the link between Jesus being born in the manger, Baroque times when people were forced to flee and refugees' hardships nowadays.

Corona below by Javier Perez is made of glass, steel and cloth.

The Descent from the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens uses softer light in a more classical style.

The pulpit by Michiel van Der Voort made in 1713 is amazing with so much detail, it can't be photographed properly, by me that is!  The animals, branches and twigs are very realistic.  Four women each represent a different continent - Europe, Asia, America and Africa plus the faces of Christ, Mary and St Bernard are in relief with the Holy Ghost as a dove above with cherubs and angels with trumpets.  I've never seen anything like it!

The Man who bears the Cross by Jan Fabre.

So much to see and marvel at.



  1. The Cathedral is amazing. You can't help being touched by the beautiful works or art. It was a shock to hear about the fire and see the images of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris - glad to know that much has been saved. It makes one appreciate our ancient buildings, the architecture and art work whether by the old Masters or modern artists.

    1. We need to make the most of them and appreciate the hours of work that have gone into creating them. We're both having a Cathedral day today!

  2. Your photographs are lovely to see, it looks an amazing Cathedral.
    Yes, it was such a terrible thing to see Notre Dame Cathedral on fire the other night …

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan. Sadly there seem to have been so many fires recently in these ancient buildings - The Glasgow School of Art has even had two fires. 😊

  3. Incredibly beautiful - I can only imagine how amazing it was in person! It really takes your breath away to see all of the stained glass, vaulted ceilings and beautiful sculpture. The fire of Notre Dame Cathedral was so tragic. I watched it live on television and my heart just broke. So glad to see that some of the art and the main architecture was saved. So heart-lifting to see people come together and pledge to re-build. Hope you and your family have a lovely Easter. xx Karen

    1. Thanks Karen, it was especially beautiful and large as you couldn't really get an idea of the building from the outside. It sounds like the much loved cathedral in Paris will be rebuilt fairly quickly with all the donations. Enjoy your Easter celebrations. x

  4. Yes very poignant reading this and seeing your wonderful photos of the Antwerp Cathedral after the Notre Dame fire, It has affected so many of us, i guess because it was so well visited. Must put this one on my next travel plans to Belgium - stunning stained glass windows.
    Wren x

    1. As with all these wonderful cathedrals, there's so much to see or a quiet place to reflect on life. x