ZINNIK, Gilbertus van
(b. 1627, Grimbergen, d. 1660, Grimbergen)

Interior view

begun 1647
Norbertine Abbey Church, Grimbergen

The churches of the Premonstratensian (Norbertine) order have a special significance in the history of late-seventeenth-century Flemish church architecture. The expansion and decoration of the Norbertine abbeys in the Southern Netherlands accelerated after 1650. In these abbeys particularly the long choirs, essential for the offices of the order, stand out.

The Norbertine church of Grimbergen was built to the design of the architect, Father Gilbertus van Zinnik, a member of the order. Here there was an effort for rich decoration, particularly conspicuous in the elegant sculptural embellishment of the interior. At the same time the effect of monumentality in this interior was reinforced by the imposing square piers flanked by pilasters. The festive atmosphere is increased by the beautiful furniture including the confessional chairs, the theatrical main altar and the choir stalls.