Photographer's Note

SINT-ROMBOUTSKATHEDRAAL (St. Rumbold's Cathedral) is the landmark sight in Mechelen. The impressive church is the metropolitan archiepiscopal cathedral of Mechelen. It is a prime example of Brabantine gothic.

CONSTRUCTION of the church started shortly after 1200, and it was consecrated in 1312, when part had become usable. During the final phase of 1452–1520, the tower was erected. The church has functioned as a cathedral since 1559.

THE TOWER is 97.28 metres high. It is visible from the wide surroundings and a fixed orientation point for walkers and travellers in the area. The 514 steps up have been mounted by many tourists, who follow the footsteps of Louis XV, Napoleon, King Albert I and King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola, who have gone before them (though not at the same time).

SINT ROMBOUT (Saint Rumbold) was a Christian missionary and martyr who had founded an abbey nearby. His remains are rumoured to be buried inside the cathedral. There is some confusion, though, about the exact dates of his life, science and tradition have come up with dates ranging from 580 to 775.

THE INTERIOR features a Baroque high altar and choir by Lucas Faydherbe, as well as paintings by Anthony van Dyck, sculptures by Lucas Faydherbe and Michiel Vervoort, and stained-glass windows. Its nave is approximately 118 metres long.


THIS PICTURE shows a part of the interior:

- FOURribs of the nave at the top,
- THREE gothic windows, three arches,
- TWO saintly statues on the columns below,
- ONE photographer, hidden from view
- NO sound but the lonesome click of the camera.

The cathedral interior is grand, yet sobre, a vast vault of timeless serenity in the hustle and bustle of the city. Often when in Mechelen, I step inside for a moment of quiet or just to say hi to the architecture.

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3045 W: 35 N: 6707] (34748)
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