St Aubin's Cathedral

Namur, Belgium

St Aubin's Cathedral (1751-1767) is the only cathedral in Belgium built in academic Late Baroque style. It was the only church built in the Low Countries as a cathedral after 1559, when most of the dioceses of the Netherlands were reorganized.

In the interior, there is an ornamented frieze, carved with swags of fruit and flowers between the Corinthian capitals runs in an unbroken band entirely round the church. All colour is avoided, replaced by architectural enrichments and the bas-reliefs in the pendentives of the dome. The interior contains some pieces of art, like paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and Jacques Nicolaï, a Jesuit brother and student of Rubens. The is also an old, romanesque baptismal font.

In the cathedral a marble plaque near the high altar conceals a casket containing the heart of Don Juan of Austria, Habsburg governor of the Spanish Netherlands, who died in 1578; his body lies in the Escorial near Madrid.

Despite being in Belgium, the cathedral design has an Italian influence; it was built to designs of the Ticinese architect Gaetano Matteo Pisoni in 1751 and 1767. A tower of the former Romanesque church dated from the 13th century that stood on the site has survived and is located at the west end of the church.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1751-1767
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

More Information

en.wikipedia.org
www.cana.be

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Pharindra Pathak (17 months ago)
Nice place to enjoy city
ncku16howard (19 months ago)
Strong contrast between outside appearance and inner decoration.
bert vdbroeck (20 months ago)
not much artsy things except for the beautiful woodcrafted pulpit
Antonio PALAZZO (2 years ago)
Magnificent church
Antonio PALAZZO (2 years ago)
Magnificent church
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.