Onze Lieve Vrouwe Toren - Antwerpen - Belgium


Edegem, Belgium

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Our Lady Cathedral in Antwerp Belgium

The Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kathedraal (Cathedral of our Lady) is a masterplece of lace in stone.Built between 1352 and 1521 as one of the world’s tallest buildings,Antwerp’s majestic cathedral still dominates the city’s skyline.Begun in 1352, it is one of the finest gothic buildings in Europe. The church, which became a cathedral in 1559 replaced a Romanesque church built in the 12th century. The tower was finished in 1518. Of the two planned towers, only the northern was finished. Inside the tower is a carillon with 47 bells.The cathedral was the tallest structure in the Low Countries for several centuries. Even now, the 123 meter (405ft) tall spire reigns over the city.In 1566 and again in 1581, the interior of the cathedral was badly damaged by the Calvinists during the iconoclastic furies. During the French occupation, most of the interior was sold by the French.Despite all the plundering, major art treasuries have survived. The most notable are three large paintings by Rubens: Descent from the Cross (1612), Elevation of the Cross (1610) and the Resurrection Triptych (1612). There are many more notable objects inside like altars, confessionals, statues and the pulpit. The main relic that survived the middle ages is the bronze tomb of Isabella of Bourbon. The Cathedral is also adorned with 34 huge stained glass windows.

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