Rue de Saint-Martin
01 January - 31 December
Mon 9.00 - 18.00
Tue 9.00 - 18.00
Wed 9.00 - 18.00
Thu 9.00 - 18.00
Fri 9.00 - 18.00
Sat 9.00 - 18.00
Sun 9.00 - 18.00
firstname.lastname@example.org +32-68-26 51 70
Saturday 6.30 pm
The church, constructed of bricks and freestone, was built in 1585.
This is a building in the Gothic style that was the object of a major restoration in the 1980s and 1990s.
On the outside, above the entry door, a relief with the look of the Renaissance can be seen, which shows us Saint Martin sharing his coat.
In the interior, the chevet of the choir, the beautiful proportions of the nave, and the radiance of the whole create a lovely feeling of intimacy.
Of special note at the centre of the choir, the triptych and at the foot of the chair of truth, the “mystical delta”, a symbol of divine mercy dating from the end of the 18th century.
Ath has the particularity of hosting two invaluable Burial Places, one of which is one of the oldest in Europe. The one we have here dates from 1520-1550. Carved in the white stone of Avesnes, it finally recovered its polychrome colour in 2009 and found its place in an air-conditioned display case. It is believed to have been a piece of a funerary monument of a knight of the Holy Sepulchre, perhaps Jean Zuallart himself. When the Calvary was placed to the right of the church, this burial was placed in a burial chamber under it. It is now protected inside the building.
Our church has the particularity of having, in the heart of the city, a calvary dated between 1525 and 1575. It seems that with the contemporary Burial, it was the last station of a Way of the Cross erected on the city walls. During the dismantling of the walls, he would have joined the surroundings of the church and would have been placed under the responsibility of the Brotherhood of the Passion.
Originally composed of six characters, it now has only five, the statue of Mary Magdalene having been destroyed by the bad weather in 1922. Protected for 20 years by an awning, it bears ancient traces of polychromy.
Dial placed in the spire of the building, which has the particularity of having only one hand. It is in fact one of the oldest clocks in Europe (an orloge in the Middle Ages), since traces of the maintenance of a clock mechanism can be found in the parish accounts of... 1360.
Originally placed in the belfry (knocked down in 1774) on the Grand-Place, it was sheltered in the church bell tower, before being restored to its original function after the restoration in the 1990s, its original mechanism being simply helped by modern mechanics.
According to a document found in the parish archives in 2010, the parish priest and the city's aldermen ordered in August 1605 from the painter François de Saive a triptych representing a crucifixion in the middle, surrounded on the left by a carrying of the cross and on the right by a descent of the cross. The back of the side panels depicts a Christ triumphant over death and a mysterious donor. Originally, the portraits of Saint Arnould and Saint Erasmus, which were not represented at all, were to be found. Other paintings by the same master appear in the inventory of the Hopital de la Madeleine founded by Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy.
Attributed to the Thudinian factor Sébastien Lachapelle, it was delivered in 1748 according to the parish archives. Restored in 1776 by Pieter Van Peteghem, then in 1804 by his son, it originally included about twenty games. Between 1820 and 1911, restorations, notably by the Slootmaekers brothers, profoundly modified the instrument. In 1986, the Delmotte company intervened but the result was not convincing. In 1995, the Schumacher company took over the construction site and restored the organ to its beautiful tone. A new intervention to give back games is planned in the coming months. It should be noted that the rood pole wears medallions representing King David and Saint Cecilia.
Originally placed at the entrance of the church, in a small baptistery, they were moved to the Sacred Heart Chapel about ten years ago to be highlighted. This piece, unique for its beauty and sobriety, was donated by Philippe Desmaistres to the parish in 1591. The blue stone tank of Hainaut is circular, the sides are filled with large torus. On the base, one can easily read the monogram of the donor, and on the coping, one discovers the inscription: "Honorable man Philippe Desmaistres gave the present vase for the church 1591". A copper cover was placed on the whole in 1803, but it disappeared. It was reconstituted in 2002 by the Clabots de Dinant company.
Also noteworthy is the bas-relief above the portal dated from 1585, probably from the old Saint-Martin church in the neighbouring village of Brantignies, representing a Saint Martin sharing the mantle with the poor, all under a stylised Greek temple with a characteristic pediment.