ANTWERP | Start of the second phase of the restoration of the Sint-Jacobskerk

Now that the west side is ready, work will also start on the east side of the Sint-Jacobskerk or St. James’ Church in Antwerp on 7 November. The roofs and facades, stained glass windows, interior walls and vaults will be thoroughly overhauled. The complete restoration is foreseen in the course of 2027.

With the support of Onroerend Erfgoed Vlaanderen (Real Estate Heritage Flanders), the total restoration of the Gothic Saint James’ Church in the Lange Nieuwstraat started in 2019. During the first phase, which has now been completed, the west side was taken care of. Now it is the turn of the east side.

Special heritage

Located on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the beautiful monumental church has a 17th and 18th century Baroque interior and houses the burial chapel of Peter Paul Rubens. The rich art collection with valuable paintings, funerary monuments and church furniture makes the site a special art and cultural-historical heritage. In order to make this heritage gem shine again in all its glory, the Flemish Government awarded a multi-year premium of 8,780,000 euros.

The major works on the west side have now been completed, so that the church can temporarily be admired in its entirety again since November 2021. The second phase of the total restoration will start at the beginning of November 2022. 

The building will close its doors between 7 November and 23 December 23 2022 in order to set up the construction zone on the east side. The construction site area with tower crane is located at the south portal in Lange Nieuwstraat.

Thorough restoration

As with the west side of the building, the contractor will repair the roofs and facades of the east side where necessary. The stained glass windows will receive a thorough cleaning and repair, and double glazing. On the inside there is general painting and repairs to the walls and vaults. The release and restoration of a number of murals has also been included in the planning during this phase.

In 2021, the Rubens Chapel won the Heritage Challenge of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK). This organization is responsible for the restoration of the art objects specifically in the burial chapel of Rubens.

Look behind the scenes

The construction zone in the church is protected by a large wooden wall. A photo print of the interior is then added, so that the overall image is preserved. Viewing areas are provided at two places in the wall, so that visitors can follow the site activities. In addition, there are screens showing the restoration work. This time, the yard fence is also given a creative interpretation by illustrator Joris Snaet.

Information meeting

On Wednesday 26 October 2022, an information moment will take place between 6 PM. and 8 PM, in the meeting room of the church in Lange Nieuwstraat 73A. Local residents and interested parties can ask their questions about the project.

Visitors have until 7 November 7 to visit the church in its entirety. Until then, the church will open its doors even more with lectures and a concert. That programme can be found here.

Art and museums in Antwerp

3 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Very interesting and so beautiful photos! Thank’s for share, Timothy.
    Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Thank you Elvira.

      Have a beautiful day.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        Always a pleasure, Timothy.
        You as well.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s