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Accommodations in Mechelen near Sint-Romboutskathedraal (Mechelen, Belgium)


Sint-Romboutskathedraal (Mechelen, Belgium)

This is a Gothic cathedral named after Saint Rumbold (in Dutch St. Rombout), an Irish missionary who christianized the area of Mechelen and died as a martyr. It is the main religious building in Belgium, because here resides the Archbishop of the country. The building was started with the eastern part of the transept in 1217, followed by the western pillars of the transept made in 1230. The nave with six bows (around the middle of the 13th century), and the choir (14th and 15th century) followed. The nave is 94 m long, 12 m wide and 27 m high. Some of the art treasures include a painting by Anton van Dijck (The crucified Christ), the main altar by Lucas Fayd’herbe in polychrome marble (1665), the sculptures of the twelve apostles and the four evangelists that decorate the pillars of the nave (17th century), and the sculptured wooden pulpit made by Van der Voort the elder in 1721. Some of the previous Archibishops are buried inside the cathedral, like Cardinal Mercier who strongly opposed the German occupation of Belgium during World War I. With its 97.28 metres height the adjacent tower which dominates the cathedral was built between 1452 and 1520. According to the original plan it was supposed to reach a total height of 167 metres but the construction was stopped during the Religious Wars of the 16th century. There are 514 steps leading to the upper gallery. From the top of the tower one can have views of the city, the port of Antwerp and the Atomium in Brussels. The entrance fee includes a multimedia guide. The number of visitors is limited, so booking is advisable. The tower was recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999.

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