Very close to the ‘Mechelspleintje’ (Mechelen square) is the church of Saint George. This Neo-Gothic church was built in 1853 according to plans by Suys. It replaced a Gothic church dating from the 13th century which had been destroyed by the French in 1798. Between the two towers, each measuring 50 m, the statue of Saint George can be seen on a triangular pediment.
In the interior, Godfried Guffens and Jan Swerts richly decorated the church with mural paintings whose completion took thirty years. These represent scenes from the life of Jesus and his suffering on the cross. These paintings refer to the church as fighting and suffering.
The statue of Our Lady of the Citadel, which was formerly found in the ‘Zuidkasteel’, the Spanish citadel, was transported to the Church of Saint George after the French Revolution. For this statue of the Virgin there is a cloak, dating from 1867, magnificently embroidered by Louis Van Moock which was inspired by the majestic cloak of Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Secours (Our lady of good help) of the Church of Saint Andrew. About ten symbols of the Marian virtues adorn the hem of this cloak.
The reliquary of the forty saints that are protectors against cholera and other infectious diseases, made of gilded brass, dates from 1878.
If you have time, take the Lange Gasthuisstraat (the long street of the hospital). Opposite the Mechelspleintje is the Saint Elisabeth hospital. Dare to cross through the portal. On your right, you will discover a small 15th century chapel where chamber music small concerts are regularly held.