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  • About Antwerp Monumental Churches


    Antwerp Monumental Churches (MKA vzw) is the central contact point and umbrella organization for the Cathedral of Our Lady and the churches of St Andrew, St Charles Borromeo, St James and St Paul: five religiously active churches located in the historical centre of Antwerp. MKA is responsible for the promotion of the immensely rich heritage of these five places of worship and supports the mediation for visitors.


    MKA’s mission is to encourage and support collaboration between the Cathedral of Our Lady and the churches of St Andrew, St Charles Borromeo, St James’ and St Paul. By pooling resources in this way, the association aims to deliver sustainable, high-quality care for the cultural heritage of these five monumental churches and to encourage the joint development of their outreach in a serene and publicly beneficial manner.


    Recent collaboration between the Cathedral of Our Lady and the churches of St Andrew, St Charles Borromeo, St James and St Paul grows with the support of the Antwerp Heritage Unit, resulting in the foundation of the non-profit organization Antwerp Monumental Churches (MKA vzw).

    On the initiative of Alderman Philip Heylen, a working group is set up with representatives of the City of Antwerp’s Museums and Heritage Service, the Province of Antwerp’s Culture Department and Heritage Service, and members of the MKA board of directors. The three partners sign a collaboration agreement. The first fruits of this collaboration are the appointment of a coordinator and the production of a leaflet in four languages.

    MKA, in alliance with cultural management institutions from Antwerp, Mechelen, Leuven and Ghent, begins work on ECCE! (First Response to Cultural Heritage Emergencies) – a contingency planning project. The result is a clear and concrete action plan for each church to prevent emergencies or, in the worst case, to limit any damage. Since then, a permanent network has ensured lasting collaboration in the area of prevention planning and mutual assistance.

    MKA produces visitor guides for the churches of St Andrew, St Charles Borromeo, St James and St Paul, in the same series as the visitor guide for the Cathedral.

    MKA receives the Europa Nostra Award/European Union Cultural Heritage Prize in category 4: Education, Training and Awareness-raising.

    MKA participates in the city cultural festival ‘Antwerp Baroque 2018: Rubens Inspires’, helping to bring fresh attention to the Baroque era and Rubens’ everyday world. The organization takes advantage of Baroque Year to highlight the traces of Rubens and the Baroque in Antwerp’s monumental churches.

    MKA vzw has renewed its Articles of Association to amend its purpose and composition.

    The focus is on MKA as an advisory body, a centre of expertise and a partnership for cultural communication concerning Antwerp’s five monumental churches. Each of the five churches is responsible for optimizing its own public accessibility and marketing, for which it can call on MKA vzw for support.

    The general meeting can be supplemented by three external parties with expertise respectively in the fields of public access, marketing, and the spiritual/religious aspect. The governing board can be supplemented by a representative of the city council.

    Who are we?

    Board of Directors

    MKA is managed by a Board of Directors elected by the General Meeting.

    Christian Devos | Chairman
    Representative of the Fabric Committee, Our Lady’s Cathedral

    Paul Bistiaux | Secretary
    Chairman of the Fabric Committee, St Paul’s Church

    Olivier Lins | Treasurer
    Chairman of the Fabric Committee, St-Charles Borromeo’s Church 

    Rudi Mannaerts
    Representative of the Fabric Committee, St Andrew’s Church    

    Helena Vanloon
    Representative of the St James’ Church 

    Dirk Vermeiren
    Representative of Antwerp Pastoral Tourism 


    Tonia Dhaese | Coordinator


    Antwerp’s five monumental churches have relied on volunteers for many years to open up these jewels of the city’s heritage to tourists. It is thanks to their efforts that everyone has the opportunity to visit and experience these treasuries of art and cultural heritage.

    Visitors are given a warm personal reception, rooted in a powerfully held sense of hospitality. Each volunteer contributes to the visitor experience in his or her own way, whether as reception staff, welcomer, guide or part of the maintenance team.
    Are you hospitable by nature with a special affection for religious heritage? If so Antwerp Monumental Churches (MKA) would like to put you in contact with one of the volunteer organizations and groups active at the five monumental churches.

    Contact Tonia Dhaese via info@mkantwerpen.be or check the volunteer vacancies: