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St Paul’s church

The Disputation of the Holy Sacrament
Peter Paul Rubens
Vlaamse meesters in Situ Antwerpen Sint-Pauluskerk

The Dominicans commissioned the altarpiece from Pieter Paul Rubens around 1609. It shows prelates and monks in deep discussion around an altar with a monstrance containing the Holy Sacrament. In the background, the heavens open as God and the Holy Spirit appear in the blinding light, while the theologians and church fathers in the foreground, referring closely to the Bible, carry on their discussion as to whether Christ is really present in the Eucharist or not.

St Paul’s church

The interior of this formerly Dominican church is a true baroque gem in a gothic shrine, with more than 50 works by Antwerp masters such as Rubens, van Dyck and Jordaens, more than 200 sculptures, a number of magnificent baroque altarpieces and world-class sculpted church furniture. The organ was first commissioned in the 17th century, but was repeatedly restored and added to. Another decided must-see is the 18th-century calvary with more than 60 life-size figures. When a fire broke out in the church in 1968, local residents risked their own lives to save many artworks from the flames.

Sint-Paulusstraat 22
Antwerp
Monday to Friday 14:00 - 17:00
Saturday and Sunday 14:00 - 17:00
Open on feast days