This church measures 30 and 72 meter, what makes this to one of the oldeste churches of the Netherlands. It replaced a romanesque church.
The early gothic, three-aisled,nave of the basilica with strong western block is the oldest part of the actual building. Both are inspired by the Our-ladies Cathedral aswell for the materials (stone of Doornik) as for the style. The round turrets, the threelightwindows and the triforium are typical examples for the Scheldt gothic . In 1900-1906 they probably tried to restore the westfassade into its original form in accordance with the orders of the architect Louis Delacenserie and Charles De Wulf. Unfortunately informations failed and it can be accepted that the try wasn't a complete success.
The restauration of the transept and choir (1270-1335) in classic french gothic ( again inspired by the style of the cathedral of Doornik), followed the restauration of the nave and westfacade. The choir with ambulatory and radial chapel were constructed in brick,they are supported by a complicated system of flying butters and butters.
The enormous, 122 meter high tower that was planted above the north sideaisle, is constructed between 1270 and 1340 . It narrows to the top and the corner have turrets relied with a openworked balustrade. The beginninge of the construction of the 54 meter high spire was started in 1444. This tower is the highest brick construction in Europe! The turrets disappeared in 1759, but were replaced in 1871 under the orders of the architect Louis Delacenserie. The spire was destructed partially in 1818, but was replaced in 1853-55 under the order of architect Jean-Brunon Rudd.
Two sidenaves were added between the 14 th and 15 th century.
The higgothic paradiseporche (next to the tower) dating from 1465 was built in Brabant stone. As it was not used anymore as entrance since 1830 it became a baptize chapel.
Inside there are the mausoleum of Mary of Bourgoundy and Charles the Reckless . Het mausoleum of Mary of Bourgoundy (died in 1482) is in gothic style. The bronzen lying statue was made round the yaer 1500. It was moulded by Renier van Thienen and golded by the Brussels goldsmith Pieter de Beckere. The grave of Charles the Reckless (died in 1477) was made later.It is a work of Jacob Jonghelinck from 1558-1563 and isin renaissance-style. There are restored, medieval wall painted graves to see behind glass.
There is also a famous Holy Mary statue with child by Michelangelo from 1503-1504.
The triumfcross in the middlenave dates from the year 1594, carries a statue of Christ by Jan Aerts. The organ is dated from 1597.
From the remarquable paintings we enumerate the 'Adoration of Jezus' by the painter Gerard David from 1520, that recieved sidepanels by Pieter Pourbus in 1573. Pieter Pourbus himself was responsible for the painting 'The last eveningmeal' (1562) and the 'Adoration of the sheppards' (a triptic of 1574). We citate also the work 'Holy Mary of the pains' by Adriaan Isenbrandt (round about 1530) and the painting the 'Adoration of the child by the wize' by Gaspard de Craeyer (from 1662).
In the sidenave, near the main altar, you can see the Gruuthuse-gallery. It is connected directly with the Hof van Gruuthuuse by a corridor.