Open Monuments Day

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Open Monuments Day

Open Monuments Day

Open Monuments Day, which takes place every year on the second Sunday of September, is an organization of Open Monuments, an initiative of Herita vzw. Herita strengthens and stimulates support for heritage in Flanders. It brings together heritage actors, develops immovable heritage and engages the general public.

The community of Saint-Paul’s has been an enthusiastic participant in this event for several years, which always attracts more than 1000 people. The Sint-Paulusvrienden vzw are organizing the local implementation of the annual theme.

Heritage Day 2014. Theme: Restoration

St. Paul’s Church acquired ‘Hyacinthus venerates Our Lady’ by the Italian painter J.B. Trotti. The restoration of this painting is explained on this Open Monument Day by Ine Craenhals, who worked on it as a restoration student at Artesis University of Applied Sciences. A similar painting hangs in Piacenza (Italy) in the Church of San Giovanni in Canale, a Dominican church from the 13th century. There are some differences. For example, on the canvas in Piacenza the apostle Paul is shown. He is missing from the painting in our church.

Caroline De Wever, art historian and collection manager of St. Paul’s Church, explains the restoration of a second work, the double panel Our Lady of the Rosary.

Open Monument Day 2015. Theme: Hidden pearls

Lesser known heritage is presented this year. We choose for the crypt.

In the past, the crypt was rented out to a wine merchant. 400 liter wine barrels were rolled into the crypt along the garden, damaging a large number of tombstones. For example, the tombstone of Joannes Bocquetius, prior to the Monastery of Saint Paul (1612-1617) was destroyed.

Open Monument Day 2016

As of this year, Open Monuments Day will not have a central theme.

This time we are focusing on activities for the children with a photo search:

Find the dogs

“It’s a nice bonus, those squinting dogs on friezes, tympanum, embroidery at Saint-Paul’s.. Sometimes frolicking with a globe, furtive with a flaming torch, growling cautiously, paws out.”

Jordanus Van Saksen describes the vision of the mother of Dominicus Guzman, founder of the Dominicans:she perceived in her belly such a barking dog puppy that would set the world on fire.. Yet a bit scary…

Dozens of artists have portrayed this tale: barking at sleeping souls with intellect and inspiration, vigilantly frolicking about the gospel and making its point with fiery inspiration and curious leaps while remaining a mutt.

Open Monument Day 2017

In 2017 we again focus on activities for children with the following theme:

Find the lions

In the Middle Ages it was thought that the lion slept with its eyes open. Thus it became a symbol of vigilance. That is why you often find him guarding gates and doors of churches and palaces. Lions are also present in our church.

The children receive a writing board, pencil and a photo sheet: look for the lions in our church. A correctly completed sheet yields a small gift at the counter.

Open Monument Day 2018

The five Monumental churches of Antwerp put their towers in the spotlight that Sunday.

In our church, just like in St. Andrew’s Church and St. Charles Borromeo’s Church, guides tell about their church tower based on photos, old drawings or a model, and take visitors to the place where the tower can best be admired. . Places otherwise not easy to reach.

Heritage Day 2019

We will mark this day with music with a third photo quest in our church.

Find the instruments

Visitors can search the church for images of old instruments in paintings, the paneling and the organ.

Lieve Van Assche gives a presentation about these obsolete instruments to visitors in the old school building.

Open Monument Day 2020

Due to the restrictive measures related to the pandemic, there will be no Heritage Day in 2020.


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