St Rumbold's Tower

Building work by the Keldermans family of architects on this imposing Mechelen monument began in 1452.  Times and circumstances changed and as a result the tower was never completed. But this did not prevent the 97-metre tower becoming the symbol of Mechelen and a UNESCO world heritage site.  The city’s most important documents used to be kept in this fortified tower, which was also the belfry.  The bells in the tower served to tell the townspeople the time and to sound the alarm in the event of danger.  The tower also made a good vantage point; from here you could see the enemy arriving from a long way off.*

The carillon bells in the tower  were a delight to hear whenever we were in the vicinity of the Cathedral.

The carillon plays tunes every quarter of an hour. Unique to Mechelen is the strike between  each quarter, every seven-and-a-half-minutes. That is the ‘Mechels halfke’ – ‘The Mechelen Half’. The oldest extant bells date from the seventeenth century.  In 1981 the tower was restored and a new carillon fitted. Every week several carillon concerts are held and every five years the carillon school organizes the Queen Fabiola international carillon competition.*


*From Hotelmagazine 2014-2015 Welcome in Mechelen

6 Comments CherryPie on Apr 30th 2014

6 Responses to “St Rumbold’s Cathedral – The Tower”

  1. I can’t make out what the irregular dark patches are high up. Decoration or different stone?

  2. Claude says:

    It’s a splendid Cathedral. Thank you for your great photos.

  3. Did you actually climb up the tower?
    I remember climbing the tall tower in Bruges!
    So windy up there.

    • CherryPie says:

      Mr C climbed the tower. I sat and enjoyed the atmosphere of the church and took a photo or two ;-)

      I am not always good with heights and stairs up to them. I have to do them at my own pace. My own pace might get in the way of others following me up the stairs so if the tour is payed and guided I often choose not to ascend the tower.