Our history

The Tower

Where you are standing now, you undoubtedly have one of the most beautiful views of the Sint-Romboutstoren (St. Rumbold’s Tower); the hallmark of our city of Mechelen.

A true, born and raised inhabitant of Mechelen knows that the cathedral was never fully finished. If you think the tower is already high at 97 meters, try to imagine it with the planned building height of 167 meters (or 600 Mechelen feet, at the time). Due to money problems, the original plan never became a reality.

The legend of the Maneblussers (moon extinguishers) has everything to do with the St. Rumbold's Tower. Read the city’s legend below and find out why the people of Mechelen are nicknamed the Maneblussers.

"According to historians, it happened on the night of January 27-28, 1687. That night, there was a full moon, and the clouds were low. A man stepping out of a pub thought the tower was on fire and immediately raised the alarm. Neighbours, startled from their sleep, pulled open their windows and could only observe the same thing. In no time, the entire city was in uproar and the alarm bells were rung. The city council, with the mayor in the lead, rushed to the disaster scene and began to organise the extinguishing works at breakneck speed. Along the tower steps, buckets of water went from hand to hand like a conveyor belt, but even before the top of the stairs was reached, the moon slid through the mist and the brave inhabitants of Mechelen had to admit that they had seen only the reddish haze glow of the moon. After all, the moonlight shone through the cathedral windows and the low clouds were at the height of the bell windows in the St Rumbold's Tower, giving the impression of smoke coming out of the tower.

Although they tried to keep it quiet, the people of Mechelen could not prevent others heartily laughing at the tale, even across the country's borders.

The Mechelen inhabitants would forever be called the ‘Maneblussers’."

When the weather is nice, this is the ideal place to soak up the sunshine. Feel free to come and enjoy a drink here.