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

Our Lady's Cathedral

Guided tours

The guided tours are given by the TOPA guides (PAstoral service for TOurists), whose motto is:

‘Looking at art: more than just an instant glance’.

Individual visitors (free)

Guides available in six languages: DU FR GE, EN IT SP. Days and hours depend on the availability of the guides.

Guided tour’s calendar: Green=YESGrey=NONERed=No visit
Group visits

The specialised TOPA guides are more than willing – if possible – to cater for any specific needs or interests of your group. Also possible after closing hours. Groups of maximum 20 persons per guide.

Booking: Three weeks in advance please Cathedral information desk Phone: +32 (0)3 213 99 51 E-mail: info@dekathedraal.be

Tours available for groups in the Cathedral

Discovering the cathedral

For centuries Our Lady’s Cathedral has been welcoming visitors from all corners of the world. The largest cathedral in the Low Countries is not only a great treasury but also a home for a living church community. We will be pleased to accompany you on your quest past P.P. Rubens and tens of less known artists, who created their masterpieces for people who feel at home in this House of God.

Be surprised by the beauty and the powerful stories that it hides. Many things are not as they seem…

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours Entrance: € 6.00 p.p. –  inhabitants of the Province of Antwerp: free Guide: € 85.00

From the large garden to the small tower

A garden 16 ft. above street level and in the heart of Antwerp… For long this was a well-kept secret. How did it end up there and what is the relation between this garden and the unfinished cathedral tower? From this tower you can see Antwerp the way you never saw the city and the river Scheldt. You will also explore a number of hidden spots “behind the screens” and admire the age-old craftsmanship of roof carpenters and builders of vaultings and towers.

Duration: 2 hours Entrance: € 10.00 p.p. Guide: € 85.00
Beneath and above the vaultings

For centuries the vaultings of the cathedral have been a stone tent giving shelter to hosts of works of art. We discover a few highlights with you and take you to the attic of the central nave. Beneath age-old beams the vaultings are even more spectacular. We climb the “small tower” (which is less small than you would think), see an age-old treadwheel crane and enjoy a sensational view over the city and its river.

Duration: 2 hours Entrance: € 10.00 p.p. Guide: € 85.00

Stunning 3D statues (from Mosan Madonna to Fabre, from The Woman who carries the Child to The Man who carries the Cross)

Woodcutters, sculptors and bronze casters… Since the Middle Ages they have been confronting us with three-dimensional works of art: tender, astonishing, confronting, puzzling, never noncommittal. Oak and stone come to life. However cool the marble may be, it will not leave you cold. The polished bronze may even reflect a part of yourself.

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours Entrance: € 6.00 p.p. – inhabitants of the Province of Antwerp: free Guide: € 85.00
No Christmas straw for the cradle

In the gospels there is no mentioning of straw in the cradle – only of the Child. Why do artist lay Him on ears of wheat, which are not mentioned in the Bible either? In the dark times before Christmas we shed some light on the age-old story of Christmas and how Biblical, apocryphal and contemporary elements were moulded into magnificent paintings, woodcarvings and stained-glass windows in the Cathedral.

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours Entrance: € 6.00 p.p. – inhabitants of the Province of Antwerp: free Guide: € 85.00
Saint Valentine’s walk

The Cathedral – full of everything that is human. Such as love! Passionate, mystic, payed for, unequal,… And what would you think of a date in the churchyard? This church hides a great many stories of love and (in)fidelity. When you look attentively you will discover a large number of love symbols and customs. An ideal exploration of the Cathedral around February 14th.

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours Entrance: € 6.00 p.p. – inhabitants of the Province of Antwerp: free Guide: € 85.00
No more scaffolds

After fifty years of restauration the Cathedral can finally breathe freely again. What techniques are used to cure a 500 year old sick lady? What was destroyed by the restauration and what was saved? What came to light and what remains hidden (for the time being)? Also the cathedral garden reveals its secrets.

Duration: 2 hours Entrance: € 10.00 p.p. Guide: € 85.00
On the general page GUIDED TOURS you will find two more tours visiting several churches.