Saint Michael's Church, Ghent

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thumb]] The Saint Michael's church (Dutch: Sint-Michielskerk) in Ghent, Belgium, is a Roman Catholic church devoted to Archangel Michael.

The construction of the current church, which was preceded, on the same site, first by a small chapel, destroyed by fire early in the twelfth century, followed by a larger church, probably began in 1440, and took place in two phases, separated by a long interruption. During the first phase, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,the western part of the building was built, including the tower, the three-aisled nave and transept. This was completed in 1530. The continued construction of steeple started in 1566. Then, due to religious conflicts, not only did construction stop, but looting and destruction took place, and part of the church was demolished in 1579, by the Calvinist. From 1623 to 1659, the architect Lieven Cruyl worked on the building.

The church has a rich Neo-Gothic interior, including an altar and a pulpit, and includes Rococo and neoclassic statues and several eighteenth-century and Baroque paintings, including Christ dying on the cross by Anthony van Dyck and paintings by De Crayer and Philippe de Champaigne.

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