Brabantine Gothic, occasionally called Brabantian Gothic, is a significant variant of Gothic architecture that is typical for the Low Countries. It surfaced in the first half of the 14th century at St. Rumbold's Cathedral in the City of Mechelen.
Reputed architects such as Jean d'Oisy,Jacob van Thienen, Everaert Spoorwater, Matheus de Layens, and the Keldermans and De Waghemakere families disseminated the style and techniques to cities and towns of the Duchy of Brabant and beyond. For churches and other major buildings, the tenor prevailed and lasted throughout the Renaissance.
Brabantine Gothic, in a Low Countries context also referred to as High Gothic, differs from the earlier introduced Scheldt Gothic, which typically had the main tower above the crossing of a church, maintained Romanesque horizontal lines, and applied blue-gray stone quarried from the vicinity of Tournai at the river Scheldt that allowed its transportation in particular in the old County of Flanders.
Mosan Gothic (Meuse Gothic) refers to the river Maas (or Meuse, borrowed from French), mainly in the south-eastern parts of the Low Countries: the modern provinces of Limburg in the Netherlands, Limburg, and Liège in Belgium. Though of a later origin than Scheldt Gothic, it also still showed more Romanesque features, including smaller windows. Marlstone was used, and around the capitals on limestone columns are sculptured leaves of irises.
Surface conditions and available materials varied. Larger churches could take centuries of building during which expertise and fashions caused successive architects to evolve further from the original plans. Or, Romanesque churches became rebuilt in phases of dismantling and replacing, as (apart from its crypt) St. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent: the early 14th-century chancel is influenced by northern French and Scheldt Gothic, a century later a radiating chapel appeared, and between 1462 and 1538 the mature Brabantine Gothic west tower was erected; the nave was then still to be finished.Though few buildings are of an entirely consistent style, the ingenuity and craftsmanship of architects could realize a harmonious blend. The ultimate concepts were drawn centuries after the earliest designs. It follows that Brabantine Gothic style is neither homogeneous, nor strictly defined.
The Brabantine Gothic style originated with the advent of the Duchy of Brabant and spread across the Burgundian Netherlands. Besides minor influences by the High Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary in Cologne, the architecture builds on the classic French Gothic style as practiced in the construction of cathedrals such as those in Amiens and Reims.
The structure of the church buildings in Brabant was largely the same: a large-scale cruciform floor plan with three-tier elevation along the nave and side aisles (pier arches, triforium, clerestory) and a choir backed by a half-round ambulatory. The slender tallness of the French naves however, was never surpassed, and the size tended to be slightly more modest.
It is characterized by using light-coloured sandstone or limestone, which allowed rich detailing but is erosion-prone. The churches typically have round columns with cabbage foliage sculpted capitals. From there half-pillar buttresses continue often without interruption into the vault ribs. The triforium and the windows of the clerestory generally continue into one another, with the windows taking the entire space of the pointed arch. An ambulatory with radiating chapels ( chevet ) is part of the design (though at the 15th-century choir in Breda added later on). Whereas the cathedrals in Brussels and Antwerp are notable exceptions, the main porch is straight under the single west tower, in French called clocher-porche.
An alternative type originated with the cathedral of Antwerp: instead of round columns with a capital impost, bundled pillars profiled in the columns continue without interruption through the ribs of vaults and arches – a style followed for churches in 's-Hertogenbosch and Leuven. In addition, the pier arches between nave and aisles are exceptionally wide, and the triforium is omitted. Instead, a transom of tracery is placed above the pier arches. This type was followed by other major churches in Antwerp, St. Martin Church in Aalst, and St. Michael's Church in Ghent.
Demer Gothic in the Hageland and Campine Gothic are regional variants of Brabantine Gothic in the south-eastern part of the former duchy.Those styles can be distinguished merely by the use of local rust-brown bricks.
Brabantine Gothic city halls are built in the shape of gigantic box reliquaries with corner turrets and usually a belfry. The exterior is often profusely decorated.
Many churches in the former Counties of Holland and of Zeeland are built in a style sometimes inaccurately separated as Hollandic and as Zeelandic Gothic. These are in fact Brabantine Gothic style buildings with concessions necessitated by local conditions. Thus (except for Dordrecht), because of the soggy ground, weight was saved by wooden barrel vaults instead of stone vaults and the flying buttresses required for those. In most cases, the walls were made of bricks but cut natural stone was not unusual.
Everaert Spoorwater played an important role in spreading Brabantine Gothic into Holland and Zeeland. He perfected a method by which the drawings for large constructions allowed ordering virtually all natural stone elements from quarries on later Belgian territory, then at the destination needing merely their cementing in place. This eliminated storage near the construction site, and the work could be done without the permanent presence of the architect.
North Brabant, also unofficially called Brabant, is a province in the south of the Netherlands. It borders the provinces of South Holland and Gelderland to the north, Limburg to the east, Zeeland to the west, and the Flemish provinces of Antwerp and Limburg to the south. The northern border follows the Meuse westward to its mouth in the Hollands Diep strait, part of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. North Brabant has a population of 2,562,566 as of November 2019. Major cities in North Brabant are Eindhoven, Tilburg, Breda and its provincial capital 's-Hertogenbosch.
Mechelen is a city and municipality in the province of Antwerp in the Flemish Region of Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Mechelen proper, some quarters at its outskirts, the hamlets of Nekkerspoel (adjacent) and Battel, as well as the villages of Walem, Heffen, Leest, Hombeek, and Muizen. The Dyle flows through the city, hence it is often referred to as the Dijlestad.
St. Rumbold's Cathedral is the Belgian metropolitan archiepiscopal cathedral in Mechelen, dedicated to Saint Rumbold, Christian missionary and martyr who had founded an abbey nearby. His remains are rumoured to be buried inside the cathedral. State-of-the-art examination of the relics honoured as Saint Rumbold's and kept in a shrine in the retro-choir, showed a life span of about 40 years and a death date between 580 and 655, while tradition had claimed 775 AD.
The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is a medieval Roman Catholic church in central Brussels, Belgium. It is dedicated to St. Michael and St. Gudula, the patron saints of the City of Brussels, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Brabantine Gothic architecture.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St. John (Sint-Janskathedraal) of 's-Hertogenbosch, North Brabant, is the height of Gothic architecture in the Netherlands. It has an extensive and richly decorated interior, and serves as the cathedral for the bishopric of 's-Hertogenbosch.
The Duchy of Brabant was a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183. It developed from the Landgraviate of Brabant and formed the heart of the historic Low Countries, part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1430 and of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1482, until it was partitioned after the Dutch revolt.
Saint Rumbold was an Irish or Scottish Christian missionary, although his true nationality is not known for certain. He was martyred near Mechelen by two men, whom he had denounced for their evil ways.
Saint Gummarus of Lier is a Belgian saint. He was the son of the Lord of Emblem. An official in the court of his relative Pepin the Younger or Pepin of Herstal according to some other sources, after a number of years in military service he retired to live the life of a hermit. The town of Lier grew up around his hermitage.
The Royal Carillon School "Jef Denyn" in Mechelen, Belgium, is the first and largest carillon school in the world. The Belgian government defines it as an "International Higher Institute for the Carillon Arts under the High Protection of Her Majesty Queen Fabiola." The school has trained many of the foremost carillonneurs of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and houses a rich archive and library.
Saint Peter's Church in Leuven, Belgium, is a Roman Catholic church built in the 15th century in the Brabantine Gothic style. The church has a cruciform floor plan and a low bell tower that has never been completed. It is 93 metres (305 ft) long. It is located on the city's 'Grote Markt', opposite the Town Hall.
From the 15th century onwards, the Great Council of the Netherlands at Mechelen was the highest court in the Burgundian Netherlands. It was responsible for the Dutch-, French- and German-speaking areas. In Luxembourgish the phrase "mir ginn op Mechelen" still means playing one's last trump card. The Grote Raad first sat in the Schepenhuis in Mechelen then, from 1616, in the (old) palace of Margaretha of Austria on Keizerstraat.
Saint Michael's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Ghent, Belgium built in a late Gothic style. It is known for its rich interior decoration.
Jean d'Oisy (1310–1377) was the architect of several ecclesiastical buildings in Brabantine Gothic style. He was one of the earliest introducers of northern French Gothic style into the Low Countries and a teacher of the reputed Brabantian architect Jacob van Thienen.
The Mechelen-Zuid water tower is a 143-metre-high (469 ft), combined water and telecommunications tower constructed in 1978. Since 1979, it has supplied the water to the city of Mechelen, Belgium, while also hosting television and telecommunications aerials. The concrete spire passes through a wide disc holding water fifty metres above the ground. Higher up, a smaller disc supports telecommunications equipment. Topped by a decorative stainless steel tube, it is claimed to be the highest water tower in the world.
Leon Lemmens was a Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop in Belgium.
The Flemish organization for Immovable Heritage, or simply Onroerend Erfgoed is a cultural heritage agency sponsored by the Flemish Government. The organisation is split into four subdivisions; the former VIOE, which inventories Beschermd erfgoed in the Flemish Region; the agency "Ruimte en Erfgoed" which executes policy on heritage management and protection; the Ministry department of Town and County Planning, Housing Policy and Immovable Heritage, or Ruimtelijke Ordening, Woonbeleid en Onroerend Erfgoed (RWO), which supports the Minister of Culture on policy decisions; and Inspectie RWO, which is the inspection arm of the RWO.
Johannes van Mildert or Hans van Mildert was a Flemish sculptor, who is best known for his baroque sculptures found in many Belgian and Dutch churches. Van Mildert played an important role in the development of the design of Flemish Baroque religious furniture.
The St. Peter in Chains Church is a church in Neo-Gothic style with a rich Baroque interior located at the Market Square in Beringen, Belgium. It is the parish church of Beringen centre and the decanal church of the deanery of Beringen. The chancel, nave and transept are protected since 1949 and the neo-Gothic parts since 1993.
On 4 March 1853, Pope Pius IX restored the episcopal hierarchy in the Netherlands with the papal bull Ex qua die arcano, after the Dutch Constitutional Reform of 1848 had made this possible. The re-establishment of the episcopal hierarchy led to the April movement protest in 1853.
The Big Arsenal, in Dutch: Groot Tuighuis, in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, is also known as Old St. James Church, or Oude Sint Jacobskerk. It is the former location of the Noordbrabants Museum. It now houses the municipal heritage department and its storage. It is open to visitors four days a week.
As the Gothic style develops in its secondary period (late thirteenth and beginning of fourteenth century) the windows increase in size, the pillars are fluted and the tracery of the windows becomes more and more complicated. The best examples of this particular Gothic still in existence are the choir of St. Paul at Liege and Notre Dame of Huy.