Saint Carolus Borromeus church
|St Charles Borromeo church|
The Baroque front on the Hendrik Conscienceplein.
|51°13′15.8″N 4°24′16.1″E / 51.221056°N 4.404472°ECoordinates: 51°13′15.8″N 4°24′16.1″E / 51.221056°N 4.404472°E|
|Former name(s)||St Ignatius Loyola|
|Dedication||St Charles Borromeo|
|Status||parish church (since 1803)|
|Heritage designation||protected monument (built heritage)|
|Spire height||58 metres (190 ft)|
The St.-Carolus Borromeuskerk is a church in Antwerp, located on Hendrik Conscience square. The church was formerly known for 39 ceiling pieces by Rubens that were lost in a fire when it was struck by lightning on 18 July 1718.
The church was inspired by the Church of the Gesu, the mother church of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order also known as the Jesuits. It was the first church in the world to be dedicated to the Jesuit founder, Ignatius Loyola.
Rubens ceiling paintings
In 1617-1618 Rubens painted two altarpieces. He was also commissioned to paint the ceiling pieces, for which he made the designs while the execution was done mostly by pupils, including Anthony van Dyck. A contract was drawn up in 1620 by Jacobus Tirinus and the paintings were delivered a year later in time for the consecration. Rubens received 7,000 guilders for his works in the church, and though the lavish decorations including sculptures and other artwork were well received, Tirinus was dismissed in 1625 for going beyond his budget.
In 1718 the vault of the ship, including Rubens' ceiling paintings, was destroyed by fire. Jan Pieter van Baurscheidt the Elder restored the damaged parts according to the original plan, but replaced the original coffers with wide transverse arches. In 1773 the Society of Jesus was suppressed and the building was confiscated. It reopened in 1779, renamed St.-Carolus Borromeuskerk, after Charles Borromeo.
Since 1803 the St.-Carolus Borromeuskerk has been in use as a parish church. During the Dutch reign preceding Belgium's independence in 1830 the baroque interior was sobered to make it a Protestant church.
- Painting of the interior by Sebastian Vrancx, c. 1630
- Painting of the interior by Anton Gunther Ghering, 1665
- Sint-Carolus Borromeuskerk, Sodaliteit en Professenhuis at the Belgian heritage register (Dutch)
- Rubens: A Genius at Work : the Works of Peter Paul Rubens in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium reconsidered. by Joost Vander Auwera, Sabine van Sprang, Véronique Bücken, Arnout Balis, Nora De Poorter, Nico van Hout, Christine Van Mulders, Michèle Van Kalck and by members of the Rubens project team (Hélène Dubois, Natasja Peeters, Bert Schepers and Tine Meganck).
- Lichtspots oorzaak van brand Carolus Borromeuskerk (Spotlights cause fire in Carolus Borromeuskerk), www.demorgen.be, September 20, 2009 (Dutch)
- Media related to Sint-Carolus-Borromeuskerk (Antwerp) at Wikimedia Commons