Antwerp, Churches and Tourism
Tourism Pastoral, Diocese of Antwerp (TOPA vzw)

Enclosed porch

Space which, usually on the inside, has been added against the outside door to prevent a continuous draught in the building when the outside door is open.

Aisleless church

Rectangular church building without aisles. Most large chapels in Antwerp (such as the so-called Emperor’s Chapel and the so-called Shoemakers’ Chapel) have the shape of an aisleless church. Also, most of the churches that were built in the second half of the 20th century are aisleless.


The central point of a church with a cruciform floor plan. The crossing is the intersection between the longitudinal axis [the choir and the nave] and the transverse axis [the transept].


The space between two supports (wall or pillars) in the longitudinal direction of the nave, transept, choir, or aisle.


The rear part of the church which is reserved for the congregation. The nave extends to the transept.


The room where the priest(s), the prayer leader(s) and the altar server(s) and/or acolyte(s) prepare and change clothes for Mass.


The entrance hall of an early Christian church which was reserved for those who were not (yet) admitted to the actual church community: penitents and the unbaptised. The latter also explains why the baptismal font was located near the narthex.

Central nave

The space between the two central series of pillars of the nave.

Radiating chapel

A chapel on the curved back wall of the choir. In the symbolism of the cruciform floor plan, in which the choir stands for the head of the crucified Jesus, these chapels form, as it were, a halo around this head. This accounts for their name: ‘radiating chapels’.


Processional way around the chancel, to which choir chapels and radiating chapels, if any, give way.