"A highlight in Antwerpen" Antwerp by ATLC

Antwerp Travel Guide: 2,937 reviews and 7,257 photos

St. Paul's church

I've just started this page, there will be lots to follow in the coming days! (26 dec. 2002)

VT meeting dec 21st, 2002.

A definite highlight for me was a visit to the Sint Paulus church where I had been before some 6 years ago before its restauration. Most of this travelpage will be dedicated to St. Paulus.

I chose this print as the main picture because it shows how the church is situated.

Walking up to the church, you don't really see it as a whole. The side entrance is that little gate with the statues above it on the right side of the print.
The church and surrounding houses were part of a Dominican cloister.
In front of the church is the "Veemarkt" (cattle market).


The 10 million EURO costing restauration also included a new slate roof.

Our guide was church warden Raymond Sirjacobs who also wrote the "Sint-Pauluskerk Historische Gids". It is a great resource of knowledge about this church and its treasures.
Some of the texts from this book I have translated and summarised for this page.

Sirjacobs has been active for the St. Paulus since 1974 and published 7 little books about the church. He set up a fund for the church and was part of the board that since 1987 supervised the building and its assets.
After the church burned out in 1968, he has been working for the restauration of tower, roofs, entrances, interior, paintings, statues and church furniture, on a daily basis.

He was awarded a City Medal of the city of Antwerpen in 1999.

More importantly, he is indeed a great inspirator for this grand piece of history and art. As a "tourist" I was immediately taken up by the atmosphere. He manages to bring across the centuries of dedication and love that has gone into these bricks and stones.
There are few extraordinary guides and he definitely was one.
Which adds to the idea that this was not "just" another church to sightsee.


To see it now, restauration completed, was mindblowing. Such treasures, from paintings by Rubens and other masters of the Antwerp School, to exquisite woodcarvings, rare marble, intricate church jewels and remarkable history.

In the vault are the oldest Antwerp diamonds set in a silver jewel that was designed for children to wear. The jewel is actual a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Architecture, cultural and nightlife, shops
  • Cons:Too many shops, bars and restaurants (haha!)
  • Last visit to Antwerp: Dec 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (27)

Comments (29)

  • Feb 17, 2010 at 2:54 AM

    Yep, right you are!

  • Jun 5, 2005 at 6:46 AM

    Your enthusiasm for the Pauls church is infectious!

  • Jan 4, 2005 at 1:02 AM

    Religion... chocolates... religion... chocolates.... well, I never can get too much chocolates. Very educational page, AT. :-)

  • Toyin's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2004 at 5:55 AM

    The last time I visited Antwerp, my eyes were for the Diamonds only...I really needed to go again. Thanks for sharing Anke.

  • cuckoo's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2004 at 12:07 AM

    3 weeks ago & Danny & I were here surprising family by calling in for coffee, they all thought we were safe and sound in Devon! A w/end trip to northern France and we just HAD to visit! Will be here again for Christmas. Best wishes to you Anke-Thea

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2003 at 5:30 AM

    another of your wonderful pages! Thanks! I hope I'll visit Antwerp soon!

  • martin_nl's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2003 at 3:24 AM

    Apr 22, 2003: I specifically didn't mention you on my page as the one to get lost, but alas, now you did it yourself ;-) Jan 6, 2003: Great page AT!! Great info about the St. Paulus kerk! Nice travelogue of the train station :-)

  • besbel's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2003 at 1:38 PM

    Saint Paulus church looks impressive! Hope to see it by myself someday : ) Great work!

  • DanielF's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2003 at 11:40 AM

    Itis also that I do not go more often to R'dam, being so close.

  • dila's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2003 at 7:39 AM

    very interesting tips on your antwerp page. have been ther twice and like the city a lot.


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