For more than 500 years, St Rumbold’s Tower has been the dominant feature of Mechelen city centre. Here you learn how over the years this UNESCO monument, Mechelen’s pride and joy, has become the giant it is today.


Between 1448 and 1452 work was carried out on the 2.80-metre deep foundations of the tower. The story goes that the tower is built on cowhides, but no evidence of this has ever been found.


The first stone was laid on May 22nd 1452. The officiant, Jan Van Muysen, placed two guilders under that stone. These coins were found during work on the site in 1883.


After 29 years of construction work, the tower reached a height of 55 meters.


Around 1520: the current height of 97.29 meters was reached.


The tower was to have been 167 meters high. Unfortunately, according to the legend, in 1583 the stones to complete the steeple were taken to Zeeland to build a wall around the town of Willemstad.


The people of Mechelen tried to extinguish the moon, giving them the nickname of Maneblussers – Moon Extinguishers.


The new carillon was installed. The historical carillon was lowered to the floor below.


The skywalk opened. Look carefully and you can even spot the Atomium in Brussels from this vantage point.


St Rumbold’s Tower celebrated the 500th anniversary of its ‘completion’.

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