St. Carolus Borromeus Church in Antwerp is a Baroque church with a spectacular facade, built by the Jesuits between 1615 and 1621.
Peter Paul Rubens contributed to the façade, the tower, and much of the interior. The facade is based on Il Gesu in Rome, the first Jesuit church. The interior was designed to look like a Baroque banqueting hall, providing a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. The opulent decoration gave the church the nickname "the marble temple."
On July 18, 1718, lightning struck and 39 ceiling paintings by Rubens were tragically lost in the subsequent fire. Most of the original marble was also destroyed. However, the apse of the main altar and the Mary Chapel were spared and they provide visitors with an idea of the church's former splendor.
One of the church's most unique features is the interchangeable painting above the altar, which uses an original mechanism which is still in working order.
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|51.221044° N, 4.404729° E
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- Description St. Charles Borromeo's Church - Diocese of Antwerpen
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