Chapel of Our Lady of Refuge
Also known as the Shoemakers’ Chapel
Dear Visitor. Welcome in the oasis of quietness and prayer at the Schoenmarkt (Shoe Market). Because of its location the Antwerpians know this place of worship as the Little Shoemakers’
A small church that is not a parish church. It may be part of a larger entity such as a hospital, school, or an alms-house, or it may stand alone.
An enclosed part of a church with its own altar.
, even though it has nothing to do with this trade. The usage of ‘little’ illustrates the sympathy a lot of Antwerpians have for this oasis of prayer. The chapel is bathed in an atmosphere of popular devotion: constantly candles are lit, the The altar is the central piece of furniture used in the Eucharist. Originally, an altar used to be a sacrificial table. This fits in with the theological view that Jesus sacrificed himself, through his death on the cross, to redeem mankind, as symbolically depicted in the painting “The Adoration of the Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. In modern times the altar is often described as “the table of the Lord”. Here the altar refers to the table at which Jesus and his disciples were seated at the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper. Just as Jesus and his disciples did then, the priest and the faithful gather around this table with bread and wine. is always buried by flowers, ex-votos have been placed on the walls. All this because the chapel is devoted to Jesus’ mother Mary: officially the chapel of Our Lady’s Nativity or of Our Lady of Refuge. It is a refuge for everybody, whatever the need, rank, social class or age may be. Only because till the 1970’s quite a few prostitutes of the town centre came here to say their prayers, the nickname ‘Whore’s Chapel’ also came into use.
Open for prayer, meditation and silence
Monday – Friday: 13h00 – 16h00
Closed on saterday, sunday and holidays
Permanentie Schoenmarkt 8, 2000 Antwerpen
+32 (0)3 231 53 63