A global archive of independent reviews of everything happening from the beginning of the millennium

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School and museum wall

This is an elegant solution for parking - nothing parks on the church side of the carriageway

We've heard of James Bond and Flemish bond but this is lovely brickwork - opposite the museum entrance in the wall



It must be said, Mechelen preserves its heritage very well, a contrast to Cambridge where the two councils have fallen down on their job, and a place where, after the May 2022 local elections, it could be proposed, on a non-party basis, that planning powers be removed from the councils in favour of new institutions. A national lobby group has already proposed that small segments of communities be given greater decision making powers. A pilot is needed. National bodies defending Victorian, Modernist and Georgian buildings are too understaffed to avert civic disasters. Outside the deliberations of the university there is not much sign of coherent defence of heritage. It has been a long time since the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments set the tone and also conservation area status introduced. Complacency reigns.

Enclosing walls, often elegant in themselves, mark history for institutions - Sint Janskerk spied from the foreground of the Museum Hof van Busleyen

Like Cambridge, Mechelen is a town with a river running through it in low lying land, with a medieval heritage, and Sint Janskerk is a little known gem within it.

Since this is an art shows page, I came to catch up with seeing as many Rubens paintings as I could in Flanders but I was much impressed by how much money had gone into the upkeep of the fabric, given, unlike Antwerp Cathedral, it is off the beaten track.

Baroque splendour

The Adoration of the Magi

Side chapel splendour

All the colours of the side chapel window made for mellow light

Seen here through glass, Adoration of the Magi featured in both Belgian and German stamps

Carving and organ looked impressive