Belfry of Antwerp: Tower of Our Lady
Construction of Our Lady’s Cathedral began in 1352 under the direction of architect Pieter Appelmans. The north tower was completed in 1518. The original design included two equally tall towers, and in 1430 construction began on the south tower, which, however, was never fully completed.
Antwerp City Hall and the Tower of Our Lady are together on the UNESCO World Heritage List because they were inextricably linked over the centuries. Unlike the cathedral itself, because of its function as a belfry, the financing of the north tower was paid for by the city. In 1459, the municipal clock was given a place in the tower at the first opportunity.
Disaster and renovation
In 1693, an earthquake struck the tower and it then had to be reinforced with tie rods. In 1830 a meticulous survey and drawings were made in preparation for a restoration. However, this is not yet taking place. The recommendations of the “tower committee” set up in 1910 to replace the natural stone proved unsuccessful, and plans changed after the second “tower committee” began work in 1924. Restoration of the tower is done in four phases and lasts until 1990.
The first carillon was installed in 1540 by Cornelius Waghevens. In the 17th century, the church belfry had two carillons: a city carillon and a church carillon. Both made by brothers Francois and Pieter Hemony. The church carillon moved after World War II to the Sint-Katharinatoren in Hoogstraten.
Sources: Wikipedia | ‘Flemish Belfries, World Heritage’ Michiel Heirman, Davidsfonds Leuven, 2003 | ‘Singing Towers’ Andreas Dill & Luc Rombouts, Davidsfonds Leuven, 2017
Belfort opening hours
Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
The tower can be visited every Wednesday from April to September, led by licensed guides.
Accommodation options in Antwerp
Part of our pre-fun consists of booking accommodation. For us, combining a visit to a belfry with an overnight stay near it completes the experience and gives us more time to gather information.
Food and drink
During our visit to Antwerp, we will visit several classrooms to have something to eat, drink and, most importantly, taste the atmosphere. After all, not only information hunger needs to be satisfied. Do you have an absolute tip where a visit to Antwerp should be culinary or can you tip the ultimate pub? Then send a message to: email@example.com.
1. Cafe den Engel
The history of café “Den Engel” dates back to the 14th century. In that century, the property was already known as “Den Engel. A nice place to do an early cappuccino. In the town hall opposite, there are many weddings this sunny Saturday. Also on Den Engel’s terrace where, in addition to coffee, champagne flows profusely. Top tent, next time we will definitely come here again.
The three most recent posts
On this page we have collected all the relevant information for visiting this belfry. To keep this up to date, we are constantly on our way to one of the 56 belfries on the Unesco World Heritage List. Below are the latest additions.
Notice of an unexpected visit to theater Kalleke Step in Grembergen during a planned visit to Dendermonde.
Report on the visit to Dendermonde City Hall and the Hollandse Kazerne with the common thread: Ros Carillon
Visit Belfry of Dendermonde 2023 Rein had managed to get in touch with Patrick Segers, the head of the Tourism Department in Dendermonde, and make an appointment to tour the Belfry. Not only was Patrick waiting for us in front of the Belfry and City Hall but he turned...