A brief survey to the

Church of the Sacred Heart in Turnhout

From all roads leading to Turnhout one can see the church of the Sacred Heart with her spire (92 m), the highest tower in town, and her four white angle towers. The church of the Sacred Heart was built in a very pure neo-gothic style between 1903 and 1907 by the architects Petrus and Jules Taeymans. Furniture and decoration of the church are also neo-gothic. The church is located near the hexagon between the railway station and the market-place of Turnhout. She was thoroughly restored between 1982 and 1985. At the same time she was made accessible for disabled persons.

Highlights

The church is lit by over twenty beautiful stained glass windows. The oldest glass windows are dated 1906 and were made by the firm Dobbelaere from Bruges. In the left aisle one can see the five Works of Mercy by Elaerts, Calders and Bary. Other glass artists are: Crickx, Steyaert and Asperslag.

The walls of the choir are covered by ‘The resurrection of Lazarus’ by L. Asperslag.

Some very beautiful and colourful procession banners.

All over the church magnificent copper work is to be seen: numerous chandeliers, a beautiful communion rail and the fourteen stations of the Cross. The high altar is quite special. Part of the sculptures were made by Napoleon Daems, parishioner around 1900. It is also quite exceptional that the sacristy furniture was made by parishioners.

Four confessionals with fine sculptures.

The lacework collection mainly consists of Turnhout lace, of a very delicate kind and in the past exported to England, America, Russia and Scandinavia. The Sacred Heart parish did run its own lacework school with up to 280 students. The parish bought lacework up to during and even after World War II.

The main organ with close to 4000 pipes was built by Stevens from Duffel. It was inaugurated in 1909. Flor Peeters, when aged 16, gave his first concert on it.

The tower can be visited to up to 71 m (adults), where children easily reads the clocks at 40 m. from there you can see Hoogstraten, Mol and even up to far beyond the Dutch border. The church attics reveal remarkable joinery from times when mainly wooden joints were in use. Even hand-made nails were found here.

Before the main entrance: a Christian labyrinth.