The Tower Without Nails: St. Gertrude’s Church
St. Gertrude’s Church (Sint Geertruikerk) was an Augustine abbey. The church was built from the 14th to the 16th century. The tower has an openwork spire, dating from 1453. Inside is an 18th-century carillon. The tower is one of the original 'seven wonders' of Leuven, and referred to as the 'tower without nails'.
The abbey was closed in 1796 (French occupation) and the buildings got other uses. Reconstructions were carried out after the fire during World War II.
During the second world war, the church (as many others in Leuven) was seriously damaged. Reconstructions were carried out after the fire during World War II.
The artistic choir stalls seemed beyond repair. Fortunately, photographs (by a German officer!) existed. After the war, the stalls were recreated by sculptors, who did an excellent job. The choir with its many wooden sculptures is now one of Leuven's most outstanding works of art. One can distinguish between original parts and later parts by judging the colors of the wood, the older parts being darker.
The history as written in the Bible, church leaders, the life of Our Lady, the life of Jezus, the four gospel writers, etc., are depicted in scenes of the many wooden sculptures.
(Source: http://www.discoverleuven.com/churches.asp), photo by Aslı Tezcan