The St. Bartholomeus Church in Merksem

The church dates back to the 15th century. In the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the building is significantly enlarged and modified numerous of times . After the almost total destruction during the 2nd WO, the church is rebuilt between 1947 and 1950 to the pre-war plan by architect H. Huygh.

Inside the church there is a wealth of baroque furniture: the portico altar made by 'Paschier' in 1645, the side altars made by 'W. Kerrickx' and 'W. Pompe' made in the early 18th century, the 17th-century paneling and the confession and communion benches are made by Cornelis Struyf  in 1734.

From the pulpit of Jan Pieter Van Baurscheit dating from 1725 only the original medallions were saved. In the 20th century, the church was enriched with glass frames of by 'A. Stalins' in 1914 and 'J. Huet' in 1939.

You can find the church at this address: At the corner of the Bredabaan and the Bartholomeusstraat, Merksem, Antwerp.

Polydoor Lippens the inventor of the electric doorbell

Polydoor Lippens was born on March 16, 1810 in Eeklo, Belgium. He graduated as an engineer after studying in Brussels and Paris. In 1850 he invented the vibrating mechanism for the electric bell, the vibrator. The patent for this was challenged by several other inventors, but eventually it was awarded to Lippens in Paris in 1858.

From 1850 to 1866 he worked for the Belgian Railways and at that time he filed nine patents associated with improvements in telegraphy. Later he became the physics teacher of the children of King Leopold I.  He returned to his hometown Eeklo in 1863. In 1869 he became a knight in the Leopolds Order.

The St Nicholas square in Antwerp

The St. Nicholas square is located at the place where the former Falconinnen sisters established a God house in 1422. The God house was used by the craftsmen of the Meerseniers guild, that were the shoemakers, tailors, tinsmiths and grocers of the city. Their main activity was to care for the needy, elderly or sick members of the guild together with the sisters. Till 1842 there were still members of the guild living in the houses round the little square.

The chapel of the God house was built  in 1423 and dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of the Meerseniers. In the middle of the square there is a statue of him. The Chapel closed in 1876 and was first used as a carpet storage and later as a Puppet theater. The entire complex was thoroughly renovated and restored by architect F. Van Averbeke between 1958 and 1968. Today the Saint Nicholas Square is mainly used by small local theater makers who have their theaters there.

You can find the St. Nicholas Square at this address: St. Nicholasplein 1, Antwerp.