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“Nice to stop in”

St Jacobskerk (St James's Church)
Ranked #33 of 152 things to do in Antwerp
Certificate of Excellence
South Carolina
Level Contributor
141 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Nice to stop in”
Reviewed 3 May 2012

It is sometimes hard to find this church open for visitors, but well worth the stop if you can. Often, there are tours in English. I have been several times and always learn something new. Rubens is buried here, since his second wife insisted, even though he didn't really care for the architecture and had been much more instrumental in designing St Carolinius and even the Kathedral artwork.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank DonnaSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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110 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
196 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“historical church”
Reviewed 31 March 2012

historical church with many famous paintings and with the burial site of Rubens, the famous painter

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank albertbrussels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerpen (Belgium)
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Art at St Jacobskerk (Antwerp, Belgium)”
Reviewed 10 March 2012

great art-work from the 16th century Flemish School painters

Helpful?
Thank Patrick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
38 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“a hidden treasure”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

located a little bit away from the main historic squares, we hadn't discovered this church on previous visits and came across it by chance this time.
Totally unprepared for the stunning interior. Gothic on the outside, flamboyant baroque inside. I particularly loved the varying styles and sculptures in the numerous chapels, although somehow we managed to miss Rubens tomb and chapel. Since discovered that its located behind the main altar, however we weren't allowed admittance to that part of the chapel at the time of our visit.
It was also the coldest church we visited this weekend, so couldn't spend as long as we'd have liked to explore the building - but they can't help the weather!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank vampyresheep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
“A terrible waste of time, unfriendly to tourists”
Reviewed 22 March 2005

I am an art history traveler, and one of my primary reasons for going to Antwerp was to see the Rubens Chapel in St. Jacobskerk. I e-mailed ahead of time and learned from the church master that the chapel would be open from 9 am to noon during weekdays (this was March 2005). When I got to Antwerp, I hiked to this fairly out-of-the-way part of town to see the paintings by Rubens in and around the Rubens Chapel in the church. I knew from my travel book that the chapel was behind the altar (in the ambulatory). When we entered the church at 9:30 am, I noted that the gate to the ambulatory was open, but we decided to walk around and look at the various chapels in the nave before heading to the Rubens chapel, as my book described these as well. There was no one in the church proper, although we could hear voices coming from a distant room. We were very quiet and respectful, walking along the side of the nave, but at one point I coughed (I had a cold) and suddenly someone came out of the east side of the church, walked quickly over to the ambulatory gate, and slammed and locked it shut. I was utterly astounded, but I assumed there was another entrance to the ambulatory. But someone else came out and shut that gate. I was still holding out hope for an alternate entrance, but there wasn't one. And worse, we were directed by a sign to a completely different chapel (St. Anthony's Chapel) trying to convince us that that was the Rubens Chapel! So not only did they intentionally slam the gate shut on us, keeping us away from the one worthwhile thing that was in the church (and the only reason why most people even visit), but they set up a sign lying about which chapel was actually the rubens chapel, directing us to the opposite side of the church to the relatively unimpressive (and locked) St. Anthony's Chapel in the nave. I have been to nearly 200 churches, cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues in Europe, and never before have I ever been so rudely treated or felt so unwelcomed. I would recommend to everyone going to Antwerp to skip this site. St. Pauluskerk is much more beautiful with more important Rubens, and I would highly recommend it over the terrrible St. Jacobskerk.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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