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Structure in General

existing [completed]
exposed structure


  • The cathedral tower was planned to be 167 meters tall, but money ran out at 97 meters.
  • The width of the transept is 13m.
  • The length of the church, not including the tower is 99.5m.
  • The transept and nave were built during the first construction period, circa 1200 to 1320.
  • The foundation has only a depth of 2.8m and a protrusion of just 46cm.
  • In 1999, the cathedral was designated a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • According to historians construction started circa 1200.
  • The first stone of the tower was placed on May 22, 1452 and was primarily financed by gifts.
  • A study from the 1970's reveals that the current foundation pressure is 6.5 kg/cm², completing the tower would result in 7.5 kg/cm², while the foundation could handle 13 kg/cm².
  • The construction of the transept was finished around 1250.
  • The lower part of the tower is 90m high and only 7 meters of the higher part (pinnacled tower) has been built.
  • The length of the choir is 30m.
  • The following personalities went to the top of the tower: Louis XV King of France in 1745, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803 and Albert I King of Belgium in 1914.
  • The height of the vaults in the nave and the choir is 28m.
  • Construction was suspended due to the Great City Fire of 1342 which severely damaged the cathedral.
  • The width of the nave is 25m.
  • The oldest part of the cathedral appears to be the wall at the east side of the southern transept.
  • On August 1972, the roof and some cross-beams above the choir and the crossing, were severely damaged by fire.
  • The nave, including the side-aisles, were constructed from 1250 to 1310.
  • Other reconstructions at the outside of the cathedral started in 1981.
  • During the second building period, which lasted for about eighty years, construction of the choir and some adjoining chapels was finished (1393), while vaults for the nave (1437) and for the choir (1451) were placed.
  • The church was officially declared cathedral in 1559.
  • In the third building period (1452-1520), construction work on the tower and some chapels at the north side of the nave was done.
  • From 1963 to 1993 the tower has been reconstructed.

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More Information


Grote Markt
Grote markt
Flemish Region

Technical Data

318.24 ft
318.24 ft
387.14 ft
135.17 ft

Involved Companies

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
  • National landmark
  • UNESCO landmark
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