"A highlight in Antwerpen" Antwerp by ATLC
Antwerp Travel Guide: 2,901 reviews and 7,171 photos
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:Architecture, cultural and nightlife, shops
- Cons:Too many shops, bars and restaurants (haha!)
Before installing floor heating, there was archeological research in the church in 1995. A medieval cloister came back... more travel advice
Fifteen paintings by painters of the Antwerp School of Painting, decorate the north side aisle of the St. Paulus. All 15... more travel advice
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