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Mechelen(mĕkh`ələn), Fr. Malines, commune (1991 est. pop. 75,000), Antwerp prov., N central Belgium, on the Dijle River. In English it is also known as Mechlin. It is a commercial, industrial, and transportation center and was formerly a famous lace-making center. Manufactures include textiles, furniture, and beer. Founded in the early Middle Ages, Mechelen was a fief of the prince-bishops of LiègeLiège
, Du. Luik, Ger. Lüttich, province (1991 pop. 999,646), 1,526 sq mi (3,952 sq km), E Belgium, bordering on Germany in the east. The chief cities are Liège (the capital), Verviers, Herstal, Huy, and Seraing.
..... Click the link for more information. until 1356. It then passed to Louis de Mâle and the dukes of Burgundy. Mechelen was an archiepiscopal center in 1559. The city was often damaged in the many wars that were fought in the Low Countries. However, Mechelen retains many noteworthy buildings, including the Gothic Cathedral of St. Rombaut (13th cent.), which contains Anthony Van DyckVan Dyck or Vandyke, Sir Anthony
, 1599–1641, Flemish portrait and religious painter and etcher, b. Antwerp.
..... Click the link for more information. 's painting, the Crucifixion, and has a 319-ft (97-m) tower and a carillon; the churches of Notre Dame and of St. John, both of which have paintings by Peter Paul RubensRubens, Peter Paul,
1577–1640, foremost Flemish painter of the 17th cent., b. Siegen, Westphalia, where his family had gone into exile because of his father's Calvinist beliefs.
..... Click the link for more information. ; the archiepiscopal palace (16th cent.); and the city hall (14th cent.; rebuilt 18th cent.).
(also Malines), a city in Belgium, in the province of Antwerp, on the Dyle River and the canal linking Louvain with the Rupel River. Population, 65,600 (1971). River port and railroad junction. Mechelen is known for its textile, carpet, and lace manufacturing. There also are metalworking, machine-building (mainly transportation equipment), chemical, furniture, and food industries.
The St. Rombaut abbey (founded before 912) and the Grote Markt square form the historical center of Mechelen. The city’s medieval radial plan has been preserved within a ring of boulevards, which replaced the city walls in the 19th century. Architectural monuments in Mechelen include the Gothic cathedral of St. Rombaut (completed 1217; unfinished towers, 1452–1578; built by masters of the Keldermans family), which is known worldwide for its carillon. Other Gothic buildings are the palace of Margaret of Austria (now the Palace of Justice, 1507–26, architects Rombaut Keldermans and G. de Beauregard) and the Town Hall, which consists of the former Cloth Hall (1320–26) and the former Grand Council palace (1530–34, architect R. Keldermans). Mechelen also has some 16th-century dwellings, such as the former Hotel Busleiden (now the Stadsmuseum, 1503–07).