St Rumbold's Tower
Building work by the Keldermans family of architects on this imposing Mechelen monument began in 1452. Times and circumstances changed and as a result the tower was never completed. But this did not prevent the 97-metre tower becoming the symbol of Mechelen and a UNESCO world heritage site. The city's most important documents used to be kept in this fortified tower, which was also the belfry. The bells in the tower served to tell the townspeople the time and to sound the alarm in the event of danger. The tower also made a good vantage point: from here you could see the enemy arriving from a long way off. Skywalk here we come! You can visit the tower. You will find that it has six rooms, each of which serves a different purpose. In the tower you can admire a working timepiece and two carillons from close to. Unique in Europe, the Skywalk affords a panoramic view of the Grote Markt, the city and surrounding area and is a well-deserved reward for your exertions. The Carillon Legend has it that the people of Mechelen were always late, arriving at what was called "Mechelen time". Sorry! Consequently in the eighteenth century they hung the largest timepiece in the world on the four sides of St Rumbold's Tower. The gigantic clock-faces were larger than those of Big Ben in London. They only indicated the hour. For the minutes in-between, people had to listen to the carillon. And we still do that. The timepiece is no longer there but the carillon plays tunes every quarter of an hour. Unique to Mechelen is the strike between each quarter, every seven-and-a-half-minutes. That is the 'Mechels halfke' – the 'Mechelen half'. The oldest extant bells date from the seventeenth century. In 1981 the tower was restored and a new carillon fitted. Every week several carillon concerts are held and every five years the carillon school organizes the Queen Fabiola international carillon competition. Moon Extinguishers Did you know ... the people of Mechelen are sometimes called Moon Extinguishers? Discover the legend. Peregrine falcons Since several years peregrine falcons live in St Rumbold's Tower again. Watch a video of these birds of prey. Download the brochure.