Saint-Jacques' church LIEGE 1 in LIEGE / BELGIUM description:
The western block of this Sint-Jacobschurch was built in 1155-1173 under Pince-Bishop Drogon, as one of the Mosane Romanseque chruchs of Luttich. it depended on a Benedictine's abbey. The first stone of the crypt was posed in 1015 in the attendance of Prins-Bishop Balderik II. This one was burried on 29 juli 1018 in this crypt. The western block was carrying to square towers, and in the middle an 8 sided tower. In 1651, this building was hit by lightning, and it collapsed partially. Finally, only part was repaired in brick; the Romanesque towers didn't come back... But you can still see windows with round arches and typical Romanesque saving niches. Inside, the western block is very dark, under a high tunnel vault.
But before this, the church building itself was changed entirely. At the beginning of the 15th century, a Gothic construction had started. After few years, the construction was stopped. Finally, in 1538, the construction was finished by A. van Mulcken. His pleasant style was on the bridge between Gothic Late and renaissance. This rare duality is proven by example in the mixture of late Gothic triforia containing trilobates and quatrefoils, with below them fine festoons and medaillons p˘inting to renaissance.
Very remarkable in this church is is the complex vaulting. Spectacular stellar vaulting, painted in many colors, run one into the other. The polychrome painting accentuates the herves, and in the surfaces between them, Gothic and Renaissance moteves are mixed smoothly.
The choir has no ambulatory. But 5 radial chapels exist, a rare combination in the Mosane country. The choir is enlighted by lancet windows with 16th century stained glass, donated to the church by the families de Hornes et de La Marck.
The northern porch was built in 1558-1568. Here, Gothic has gone to be replaced by triumphal renaissance by L.Lombart. He made his own interpretation of triumpharcs from the Ancient history.
Inside, you find f.e. baroque statues on socles on the Gothic clustered columns between the central aisle and the side aisles. The are made by Jean Del Cour.
The organ was renewed in 1998. It is housed in a renaissance organ-case dating from 1600.
For more info (French), see Fabrice Muller.