The “Westworks” (the western towers) would forever be somewhat lopsided since only one tall tower was ever completed. The other tower framing the beautiful west entrance portal is stunted and obviously unfinished. Even so, the cathedral is a beautiful site with its one tower rising to 125 meters (403 feet). It is said to be the largest cathedral in the Benelux.
Antwerp had joined the rebellion against the rule of Habsburg Spain and the city became the capital of the Dutch Revolt. Not only was the revolt a Protestant rebellion but had become a revolt of all Dutch provinces.
When the winds of war finally blew the other way, most of the Flanders and the Duchy of Brabant, including Brussels, had been recaptured by King Phillip of Spain by 1584 and a year later, Antwerp was again under Catholic control and the Cathedral of Our Lady was restored.
By the 19th century, some of the masterpieces of Peter Paul Rubens and other Antwerp master painters were being returned from Paris to Antwerp. Some returned to the cathedral, and some were donated to the museum. Throughout the course of the 19th century, the church was completely restored and refurnished.
Assumption of the Virgin Mary
by Peter Paul Rubens 1626
Altarpiece of Saint Luke's Guild 1602
Saint Luke Painting the Virgin Mary
by Maerten de Vos, Otto van Veen, and Ambrosius Francken
The Raising of the Cross
by Peter Paul Rubens c. 1610
Altarpiece of the Cabinet Makers c.1622
The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist
by Hendrick van Balen