22 June 2015

#916 Belgium

St. Rumbold's Cathedral (DutchSint-Romboutskathedraal) is the Belgian metropolitan archiepiscopal cathedral in Mechelen, dedicated to Saint Rumbold, Christian missionary and martyr who had founded an abbey nearby. His remains are rumoured to be buried inside the cathedral. State-of-the-art examination of the relics honoured as Saint Rumbold's and kept in a shrine in the retro-choir, showed a life span of about 40 years and a death date between 580 and 655, while tradition had claimed 775 AD.

The flat-topped silhouette of the cathedral's tower is easily recognizable and dominates the surroundings. For centuries it held the city documents, served as a watchtower and could sound the fire alarm. Despite its characteristic incompleteness, this World Heritage monument is 97.28 metres high and its 514 stairs are mounted by thousands of tourists every year, following the footsteps of Louis XVNapoleonKing Albert I and King Baudouin with queen Fabiola in 1981.

Of the original carillon's set of 49 bells, which are still in working order, each has its own name. Some of the most notable are Salvator, which weighs 8884 kg; Jehsus, which was built in 1460; and the Liberation, which was the newest addition in 1947. Thirty-nine steps above this instrument, there is a second complete carillon on which concerts are played during the summer months. The total weight of both these carillons is over 80 tonnes and there are 98 bells in all.

It's in the List of UNESCO WHS as a part of Belfries of Belgium and France.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1999

Thank you, Iris !

Sent on: May 15, 2015
Received on: June 22, 2015

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