The present neo-Gothic church, consecrated to St. Martin, was built in 1905 on the site of the previous Gothic church dating from the 15th century, although the very first chapel was erected here before the year 1000.
The new church was built following the plans of Prof. Friedrich von Schmidt (the architect of the Vienna City Hall), but these were consequently changed by architect Josip Vancaš – namely in their design of the interior. The majority of sculptures were made by restoration specialist Ivan Vurnik from Radovljica and were produced from the best Carrera marble.
The church was adorned with frescoes by painter Slavko Pengov between 1932 and 1937. In front of the church there is a garden signpost which was designed by the great Slovenian architect, Jože Plečnik, in the years before World War II. The well-preserved walls from the 15th century remind us of the periods of Turkish invasions to these lands.
This church was constructed by some of the greatest names of the Slovenian art and architecture, including Jože Plečnik. Take a look and admire the marvellous gothic architecture and frescoes.References:
Het Steen is a medieval fortress in the old city centre of Antwerp. Built after the Viking incursions in the early Middle Ages as the first stone fortress of Antwerp, Het Steen is Antwerp's oldest building and used to be its oldest urban centre.
Previously known as Antwerpen Burcht (fortress), Het Steen gained its current name in around 1520, after significant rebuilding under Charles V. The fortress made it possible to control the access to the Scheldt, the river on whose bank it stands. It was used as a prison between 1303 and 1827. The largest part of the fortress, including dozens of historic houses and the oldest church of the city, was demolished in the 19th century when the quays were straightened to stop the silting up of the Scheldt. The remaining building, heavily changed, contains a shipping museum, with some old canal barges displayed on the quay outside.
In 1890 Het Steen became the museum of archeology and in 1952 an annex was added to house the museum of Antwerp maritime history, which in 2011 moved to the nearby Museum Aan de Stroom. Here you’ll also find a war memorial to the Canadian soldiers in WWII.
There are some beautiful plaques on the back side of the Steen Castle at Antwerp. Canadian visitors will especially want to see the plaques thanking the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry for their part in the liberation of Antwerp, in 1944.
At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as 'children of Semini'.
At the entrance bridge to the castle is a statue of a giant and two humans. It depicts the giant Lange Wapper who used to terrorise the inhabitants of the city in medieval times.