A very tall Royal Destination: St. Martin's Church in Ypres, Belgium

St. Martin's Church - Ypres - Belgium - Own picture
One of the tallest buildings in Belgium, certainly is the St.Martin's Church in
Ypres. However this magnificent Gothic architectural highlight is often in the
shadow of the Cloth Hall. Nevertheless it really has a splendid royal history.

Some royal history

The construction of the new St. Martin's Church started in 1230 and it was
finished in 1370. Previously there was a Romanesque church in the region,
which dated from the 10th or 11th century.

During those times, the diocese of Ypres was a part of the diocese of
Thérouanne, which was established in the 7th or the 8th century.

In 1553, Charles V besieged the city of Thérouanne, then a French enclave
in the Holy Roman Empire as a revenge for a defeat by the French at Metz.


Charles V - Source picture: Wikipedia


After Charles V captured the city he razed it. In 1557, as a result of the war
damage to its see, the diocese of Thérouanne was abolished. This led to the
reform of sees at the Council of Trent.

The diocese of Thérouanne was split between the diocese of Saint-Omer,
the diocese of Boulogne and the diocese of Ypres. The St. Martin's Church was
thus elevated to cathedral and it became the see of the new diocese.

After the Concordat of 1801 between Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII,
Ypres was incorporated into the diocese of Ghent and Saint Martin's lost its
status as cathedral. However for the locals the St. Martin's Chuch will be forever
a cathedral!


Napoleon Bonaparte - Source picture: Wikipedia


During World War I the St. Martin's Church was heavily damaged. Between
1922-1930 the rebuilding works started. The tower now is 102 metres tall.

St. Martin's Church Ypres Belgium - own picture



Inside the St. Martin's Church

The St. Martin's Church really has a beautiful gothic architecture, but there
also are tombs:

- Count Robert III of Flanders, known as The Lion of Flanders, also was
buried in this Church.

Thomb of Count robert III of Flanders - own picture


- Cornelius Jansen, the father of the theological movement Jansenism, who was
bishop of Ypres between 1635 and 1638.


A visit

The St Martin's church is open for public between 9  and 17 o'clock,
except during the church services which is Saturday at 17 hour and
Sunday at 10.30 and 18.00 hour.
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