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Encyclopedia > Saint Nicholas' Church, Ghent
St. Nicholas' Church
St. Nicholas' Church

The St. Nicholas' Church (Dutch: Sint-Niklaaskerk) is one of the oldest and most conspicuous landmarks in Ghent, Belgium. Begun in the early 1200s as a replacement for an earlier Romanesque church, construction continued through the rest of the century in the local Scheldt Gothic style (named after the nearby river). Typical of this style is the use of blue-gray stone from the Tournai area, the single large tower above the crossing, and the slender turrets at the building's corners. Gent at Night Ghent (IPA: ; Gent in Dutch; Gand in French, formerly Gaunt in English) is a city located in Flanders, Belgium. ... Interior of the Saint-Saturnin church St-Sernin basilica, Toulouse, 1080 – 1120: elevation of the east end Romanesque sculpture, cloister of St. ... The Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde, French Escaut) is a 350 km[1] long river that finds its origin in the north of France, enters Belgium and near Antwerp flows west into the Netherlands towards the North Sea. ... See also Gothic art. ... The cathedral of Notre Dame de Tournai Tournai (in Dutch: Doornik) is located 85 kilometers southwest of Brussels on the river Scheldt in the Belgian province of Hainaut. ... Cathedral floor plan (crossing is shaded) A crossing, in ecclesiastical architecture, refers to the junction of the four arms of a cruciform (cross-shaped) church. ... Corbelled corner turrets at Newark Castle, Port Glasgow. ...

Built in the old trade center of Ghent next to the bustling Korenmarkt (Corn Market), St. Nicholas' Church was popular with the guilds whose members carried out their business nearby. The guilds had their own chapels which were added to the sides of the church in the 14th and 15th centuries. A guild is an association of people of the same trade or pursuits (with a similar skill or craft), formed to protect mutual interests and maintain standards of morality or conduct. ... A chapel is a private church, usually small and often attached to a larger institution such as a college, a hospital, a palace, or a prison. ...

The central tower, which was funded in part by the city, served as an observation post and carried the town bells until the neighboring belfry of Ghent was built. These two towers, along with the Saint Bavo Cathedral, still define the famous medieval skyline of the city center. Belfry of Ghent The 91-meter-high belfry of Ghent is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city center of Ghent, Belgium, the other two belonging to Saint Bavo Cathedral and Saint Nicholas Church. ... The Saint Bavo Cathedral (also known as Sint-Baafs Cathedral, or the Dutch Sint Baafskathedraal) is the seat of the diocese of Ghent. ...

One of the showpieces of the church is its organ, produced by the famous French organ builder Aristide Cavaill√©-Coll. The organ of Bristol Cathedral, Bristol, England. ... Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (February 4, 1811–October 13, 1899) was a French pipe organ builder. ...


The building gradually deteriorated through the centuries, to a degree that threatened its stability. Cracks were overlaid with plaster, windows were bricked up to reinforce the walls, and in the 18th century, little houses and shops were built up against the dilapidated facades. Interest in the church as a historical monument arose around 1840, and at the turn of the century major restoration plans emerged. The houses alongside the church were demolished and much renovation work has been carried out since then.

Helicopter crash

On 21 April 2005, a remote-controlled mini-helicopter was blown by a wind gust against the side of the church. The helicopter, which had been filming scenery for a promotional film about the city, crashed down on the pavement about five meters from the side entrance. There was no serious damage to the building. Mil (Russian Federation) Mi-8, by far the most common model of helicopter in the world with more than 12 thousand units built, sixfold quantity comparing to production of the second most common model Sikorsky S-70. ...

External links

Official site



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