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Cathedral de St-Aubain (St. Aubain Cathedral)

138 Reviews

Cathedral de St-Aubain (St. Aubain Cathedral)

138 Reviews
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periandro wrote a review Jun. 2020
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg6,534 contributions322 helpful votes
The Namur cathedral is dedicated to St. Aubain. In the place where it stands there was a romanesque church which had been founded as a collegiate in 1047, character which lasted until 1559 when the church became a cathedral. From this erstwhile edifice there remains a tower at the west end of the church built in the thirteenth century. In the middle of the eighteenth century the demolition of the ancient temple, as a consequence of having endured heavy damages caused by some floods which took place in 1740, and the construction of a new building were carried out . The new cathedral, built under the architect Jean-Baptiste Chermanne's design, was finished in 1757. The façade front part is marvellous, in high contrast with the side façades which are in bricks and very sober. The said front façade is ornated with twenty cylindrical columns with Corinthian capitals. The central part of that façade is round shaped with an oculus at its wall top, surmounted by some statues portraying Christ and some apostles. Three niches containing statues and three medallions decorate the lower part of the front façade. There are three entrances, that in the middle, larger than the others, leads straight to the central nave. The whole baroque ensemble in that part is artistically arranged and very attractive. Inside, the architectural set up combined with the decorative elements is really dazzling, and it's there where the neoclassical style features appear with all their splendour, as in the semidetached columns, monumental pilasters, Chorinthian capitals and cherubs. It's a three-aisle church, the height of the central nave being remarkable; that nave is four times higher than the side aisles but of course lower than the dome which, together with the skylight, is approximately seventy metres high. The interior décor is made basically with stucco and some of the paintings which can be contemplated there are the work of famous painters such as Antoine Van Dyk, Jacob Jordaens and Jaques Nicolaï. The fact of being able to behold such marvellous artworks housed in that church is a real pleasure. The central nave is covered by a barrel vault decorated with golden stars, and on the upper sides thereof, between the Corinthian capitals there is a frieze carved with swags of fruit and flowers. The said decorative elements make that nave be a stunning part of the church interior. In the middle of each one of the side aisles there is a dome simpler and smaller than that in the central nave, the latter, which finds itself above the high altar, is spectacular. The four pillars supporting the dome drum are flanked by Corinthian columns and include statues of four Church Fathers. The pendentives which surmount the pillars are decorated with allegories of the theological virtues and of the religion. Everything is of a extreme beauty, and it's worth to behold that dome and pillars for a long time so as to observe the nice details thereof. In the choir everything is fantastic. On the side walls there are marvellous paintings, one of them depicting the Last Supper is sublime. The wood marquetry in that part of the temple beyond the transept is a masterpiece in itself. The stall range as well as the bishop's chair and its tabernacle are dazzling beauties. The high altar is relatively simple but imposing, particularly the crucifix behind the table with its white marble Christ on a black cross at the back of the apse flanked in the same altarpiece by four cylinder reddish marble columns with composite capitals. In the upper part of the altarpiece above the crucifix there is an elegant statue of the Virgin with the Child and on both sides of the altarpiece there are also white marble statues on their respective pedestals portraying St. Peter and St. Paul. The harmonic conception of the whole is outstanding. Apart from the high altar there are some ancillary ones which are worth being contemplated such as that of St. Sacrament and that in the Immaculate chapel. Another two superb elements of that temple are the pulpit and the organ. The pulpit, made entirely of mahogany or alike, is a great work consisting of three parts: the base formed by three perfectly executed statues, the pulpit chest with statues of putti all around its outer part, and above that part there is an abat-voix which is held by large angel figures. On the top of that abat-voix a number of putti can again be seen. It's a dazzling work worth being contemplated carefully. The organ has a monumental case built by the organ builder Wilhelm Korfmacher in the middle of the nineteenth century. It's been renovated several times and completely rebuilt in the sixties of the twentieth century. It now has sixty stops distributed over four manual keyboards and the pedalboard. Therefore, Namur St. Aubain cathedral is a magnificent edifice whose visit is highly recommended particularly to admire its rich interior and the marvels housed in it. No one should leave that Belgian city without visiting that jewel of neoclassical architecture.
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Date of experience: January 2020
KrisD_pl wrote a review Jan. 2020
Warsaw, Poland6,670 contributions754 helpful votes
It's large but seems neglected from the outside. Interior is in better condition, but it's not very spectacular. Built in the second half of 18th century in late Baroque style. The most interesting are the dome and pulpit.
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Date of experience: February 2019
1 Helpful vote
Adam Leo wrote a review Aug. 2019
Milan, Italy96 contributions3 helpful votes
We visited this church after the Saint Loup church so it looked very big but not very special or ancient
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Date of experience: August 2019
paul s wrote a review Dec. 2018
Brussels, Belgium508 contributions117 helpful votes
The outside looks a bit neglected, but the interior is clean and white and in contrast with what you would expect.
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Date of experience: December 2018
larryjw1 wrote a review Aug. 2018
Oakland, California301 contributions129 helpful votes
From the outside, I was not sure that this was a cathedral. But once I passed through the front door, the splendor and architecture was obvious. The ornately carved areas as well as the general design was worth the walk to this building
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Date of experience: August 2018
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