The Church of St Dymphna

The Church of St Dymphna, built in the period 1349-1570, is a beautiful example of the ‘Demergothic’ style. Originally established as a pilgrimage church, it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and important reminders of the unique past of the Merciful City. According to the legend of Saint Dymphna, the Irish king’s daughter Dymphna and her confessor Gerebernus were buried on this spot after they were murdered.

No less than five Flemish ‘masterpieces’ can be found in the Church of St Dymphna. The St Dymphna Retable and the Passion Retable have been on the list for some time, and recently the Retable of the Apostles was added. The other ‘masterpieces’ of the Church of St Dymphna are the ‘Merodekes’, two paintings attributed to the Haarlem painter Jan Mostaert, painted around 1525. These gems can be admired in the ‘secret room’, a small room in the church that until recently was off-limits to the public, but now houses a number of church treasures that are beautifully displayed there. The Renaissance mausoleum of the de Merode family is also an absolute eye-catcher.

Tip! Take a guided climb to just below the top of the unfinished tower. Together with a walk on the arched roof, you will have a special experience!

Practical info

  • The Church of St Dymphna is open from 1 April to 30 September on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The church is open free of charge to individual visitors.
  • A guide about the church and its many art treasures is available from the city tourist office and at the church itself for €3.50. There are also information boards in the church.
  • You can also visit the church as a group by prior arrangement. Take a look at group visits in Geel for more information.