Sint-Niklaaskerk (Gent)

( Saint Nicholas Church, Ghent )

St. Nicholas Church (Dutch: Sint-Niklaaskerk) is one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks in Ghent, Belgium. Begun in the early 13th century as a replacement for an earlier Romanesque church, construction continued through the rest of the century in the local Scheldt Gothic style (named after the nearby river). Typical of this style is the use of blue-gray stone from the Tournai area, the single large tower above the crossing, and the slender turrets at the building's corners.

Built in the old trade center of Ghent next to the bustling Korenmarkt (Wheat Market), St. Nicholas Church was popular with the guilds whose members carried out their business nearby. The guilds had their own chapels which were added to the sides of the church in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The central tower, which was funded in part by the city, served as an observation post and carried the town bells until the neighboring belfry of Ghent was built. These tw...Read more

St. Nicholas Church (Dutch: Sint-Niklaaskerk) is one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks in Ghent, Belgium. Begun in the early 13th century as a replacement for an earlier Romanesque church, construction continued through the rest of the century in the local Scheldt Gothic style (named after the nearby river). Typical of this style is the use of blue-gray stone from the Tournai area, the single large tower above the crossing, and the slender turrets at the building's corners.

Built in the old trade center of Ghent next to the bustling Korenmarkt (Wheat Market), St. Nicholas Church was popular with the guilds whose members carried out their business nearby. The guilds had their own chapels which were added to the sides of the church in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The central tower, which was funded in part by the city, served as an observation post and carried the town bells until the neighboring belfry of Ghent was built. These two towers, along with the Saint Bavo Cathedral, still define the famous medieval skyline of the city center. One of the treasures of the church is its organ, produced by the famous French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

Before the Cavaillé-Coll organ, the church had an organ built in 1840 by the Flemish organ builder Pierre Van Pethegem.[1]

In 1850, François-Joseph Fétis advocated the construction of a model organ in Belgium, he got support from dean Désiré Ignace Verduyn. They asked Cavaillé-Coll to make a proposal for a new organ, the first CC organ in Belgium.

In a first proposal of March, 1853, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll suggested a two-manual instrument, partially reusing material of the Van Peteghem organ. A second proposal also suggested a two-manual instrument with almost identical disposition.

The third proposal of September 3, 1853 describes the final three-manual organ in a new case with 16' pipes in the front (Grand Orgue dit de seize pieds en Monfre).

Construction of the organ began in 1853, it was completed in 1856. The inauguration concert was performed by Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély on March 11, 1856. [2]

^ "Orgelkunst-02 2011". ^ De Henau, Joris. "Het Cavaillé-Coll orgel in de Sint-Niklaaskerk te Gent (1856). De geschiedenis van de bouw en de inspeling van een romantisch orgel".
Photographies by:
Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer) - CC BY 4.0
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