Monumental church featuring two 12th century Romanesque towers and 13th century Gothic elements.
The first wooden chapel, built here at the end of the 11th century, was replaced in the 12th century by a monumental stone church. Today, only the pillars of the transept, the base of the octagonal bell tower and the two western towers remain of this Romanesque building.
The church has three towers in total: the two towers on the façade are in Romanesque style and a slate roof was added to one of them in the 15th century.
The current central nave is the result of an expansion made in the XIII-XIV century in Gothic style: the nave was in fact raised and new places of prayer were created.
The restoration works, directed by the architect Auguste Van Assche, and made necessary by the bad condition of the building due to the lack of maintenance, were carried out between 1870 and 1906. These works, criticized by some, aimed in particular to replace late additions with neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic elements, more faithful to the original structure; so the baroque facade was removed and replaced by a neo-Romanesque facade.
Many treasures are hidden inside the church, including three paintings by Gaspar De Crayer, an architectural tabernacle of the 17th century in Renaissance style, in black and white marble and copper.
Church of St. James of Ghent
Bij Sint-Jacobs, 9000 Gent, Belgium