Cathedral of Our Lady

Our Lady, the patroness of Antwerp and it’s cathedral



The Cathedral of Antwerp is an enormous gothic work of art. The outside architecture is impressive to say the least, but it is a good idea to visit the inside as well.

The Cathedral of Antwerp is dedicated to Virgin Mary and this doesn’t go unnoticed once inside. There’s more than a few representations of her in the Cathedral.

Rubens’ Assumption of Virgin Mary

The most important one is Rubens’ Assumption of Virgin Mary. It was completed in 1626 as an altarpiece for the high altar. Today, it’s still there. In Rubens’ depiction of the Assumption of Mary, a choir of angels lifts her in a spiraling motion toward a burst of divine light.

The same theme was painted by Cornelis Schut too. You have to look up for his version, because it’s in the highest spot of the Cathedral. It’s a round painting with a diameter of 6 metres! It gives the illusion of Mary actually floating into space, or eum… heaven.

Besides the paintings, you’ll find statues of Our Lady. An important one is the devotional statue in the chapel. Nice to know: her dress changes along with the Christian calendar.

Of course, it’s not all about Mary in the Cathedral. The other important works of Rubens are the Raising of the Cross, the Descent from the cross and the Ressurection of Christ.

Furthermore, since 2009, the Cathedral is home to a collection of alterpieces made by other Flemish painters. They will be there until the museum of fine arts is reopened.

I invite you to visit the Cathedral and let me know what you think!

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