Church of Our Lady of Leliendaal, Mechelen

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Our Lady of Leliendaal Church
Mechelen Our Lady of Leliëndaal seen from Our Lady across the river Dijle.JPG
51°01′33″N 4°28′51″E / 51.025833°N 4.480833°E / 51.025833; 4.480833
Location Mechelen
Country Belgium
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded 1662 (1662)
Founder(s) Premonstratensians
Dedication Blessed Virgin Mary
Status Active
Functional status Church building
Heritage designation National Monument[1]
Architect(s) Lucas Faydherbe
Style Baroque

Our Lady of Leliendaal Church (Flemish: Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Leliëndaal) is a Roman Catholic church in Mechelen, served by the Society of Jesus. It was designed by Lucas Faydherbe and is protected structure; described by the city council of Mechelen as one of its 8 historic churches.[2]



The original site of the church was originally owned by the Norbertine St. Michael's Abbey in Antwerp.

The architect was Lucas Faydherbe, he came from Mechelen, was the nephew of Lucas Franchoys the Younger and studied with Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp.[3]

In 1662, the foundation stone was laid. Construction was delayed on multiple occasions, because the façade tilted dangerously forward. Therefore, in 1664, the façade was demolished and rebuilt. In 1670, the first Mass was said and in 1674 it was solemnly inaugurated.[1]

Napoleonic wars[edit]

In the early 19th century, during the Napoleonic wars, the church was seriously neglected and half of it was turned into a hospice for the poor of the city. The furnishings were sold and holes were made in the gables for people to be able to see out and over the church to help defend it against attack. A wall was placed in the church between the second and third windows for the establishment of an infirmary.[1]


In 1834, it re-opened under the administration of the Jesuits. Through the cooperation of the nearby Minor Seminary and the Civil Hospices, it was restored and equipped with new furniture and the internal walls were removed. In 1900-1901, the Jesuits changed the floor plan and moved the choir to the gallery in the west of the church. Later in the 20th-century, a sacristy was constructed in the south west part of the church. Also, a grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes was built and new furniture was purchased.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d retrieved 19 September 2013
  2. ^ Mechelen Tourism retrieved 20 September 2013
  3. ^ Vander Auwera, Joost; Van Sprang, Sabine (2007). Rubens: a genius at work : the works of Peter Paul Rubens in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium reconsidered. Tielt: Lannoo. ISBN 978-90-209-7242-9. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 

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