The St.Paul's Church originally was part of a giant Dominicane
cloister. But disaster struck here as well and on several occasions. After the fire of 1679,
a new baroque tower was built. The paintings were plundered in the French
period but returned in 1815. Great damage was also done during the Belgian Revolution (1830)
and by a fire in 1968. On that occasion, those living round about risked their lives to save
the works of art from the fire.
Afterwards, the church has been restored and the magnificent interior is again on view to
the public : more than 50 paintings, more than 200 sculptures, splendid baroque altars and
carved church furnishings which are some of the most beautiful in the world. The creme of
the Antwerp artists can be found here:
Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens,
Francken, Quellin, etc.
The organ dates from the seventeenth-century but has repeatedly been restored
and enlarged. It is one of the most important in the country.
Next to the church (corner Veemarkt-Zwartzustersstraat) there is a remarkable
eighteenth-century (1697-1734) Calvary.