Near the river Scheldt you find Saint Paul’s Church, the former Dominican church, which was completed in 1639.
Originally, Saint Paul’s Church was part of a large Dominican abbey. It was consecrated in 1571 as a replacement for another church. A new Baroque steeple was built after a ravaging fire destroyed the church in 1679.
The church's striking interior hosts fifty paintings by renowned Antwerp masters, Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens, over 200 sculptures, beautiful Baroque altars and sculpted church furniture, widely considered to be amongst the most beautiful in the world. The organ was built in the 17th century, but has been repeatedly restored and expanded.
An eye-catching feature is the 18th century Calvary with sixty life-sized figures, next to the church on the corner of Veemarkt and Zwartzustersstraat.
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It took 169 years (1352-1521) of labour to raise the 123m heavenward-reaching steeple of the Cathedral, the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries. The Cathedral is an iconic treasury, with an impressive collection of major art works, including a series of paintings by Rubens. Now, after twenty years, the seven-naved church has been restored to its former architectural glory. Fascinating features include Rubens’ ‘Elevation of the Cross’ and his ‘Descent from the Cross’. Any visit to Antwerp starts with a visit of the Cathedral of Our Lady.
In the early sixteenth century the Augustinian Friars built St. Andrew’s Church in the popular St. Andrew’s neighbourhood, which today is also the beating heart of the Antwerp fashion industry. Inside you can see stunning Baroque altars and seventeenthcentury works of art such as the monument for the Queen of Scotland, Mary Stuart. The dramatic nineteenth-century pulpit is a mustsee.