A dragon lurks in the heart of the city center

| Angelique Cornelissen

Tilburg 2021, Corona, a hard lockdown and a curfew. A bizarre time. Balancing on the edge of contemplation? Time just keeps ticking. Standstill or just movement? Mother nature strikes back? In any case, a period with many contradictions. One searches for answers and then asks questions. Looking for certainty in uncertain times. Are we tired of Corona or do we long for...? One thing is certain, we are always moving by seeking. In this bizarre time, I am going to do my best to take you on a journey. An inspiring journey with a smile and a wink, where I regularly invite residents of our city to join me. A journey through time? Is Tilburg Corona tired or maybe not? Ready for take-off.


Growing up in the heart of Tilburg, in my imaginative childhood I discovered a 'real dragon', hidden in the middle of the center of Tilburg. And he still lives there, in a modern, architectural masterpiece, covered in beautiful white marble. I am talking about the Maria chapel 'Onze Lieve Vrouwe ter Nood', hidden between the Oude markt and the Schouwburgpromenade (diagonally opposite the Heikese church). Perhaps you have walked past it, but have you ever looked inside?

The special design of this chapel, designed by architect Jos Schijvens, has a certain appeal. For architecture lovers, it is definitely worth stepping inside! But what about the dragon?

As soon as you walk into the chapel you are surprised by a beautiful, immense palette of colours. The artwork of artist Daan Wildschut is a glass-in-concrete wall along the entire length of the chapel. It depicts the story of 'The inhabitants of Tilburg being protected from a dragon'. Of course this scene and the rich history of the chapel in terms of symbolism and history goes much further and deeper. There are even more stories in the chapel, including a unique book especially for the people of Tilburg.


On this journey I brought Simone Caroline Narraina. She is originally a trained dancer. Movement and dance have a healing effect. She goes a little further in this. Simone is also an embodiment coach and choreographer. Through meditative movement she lets you search for your subconscious, to let your soul move on the path to inner balance. I found this to be a beautiful connection between the old and the new. The chapel and its serene surroundings and Simone's field of expertise.

Evening hours

Not only on the inside the chapel are you overwhelmed by the beautiful color spectrum. When you walk past the chapel in the evening, you are surprised by the play of colors that shine through the glass and then settle on the street. Chairman and caretaker of the OLV ter Nood chapel, Karel Bergmans, explains that the light in the chapel is on from dusk until dawn, so that people can enjoy all the beauty of the colors even more. Especially now in these uncertain, dark times.

This brings us back to the wonderful story of 'The inhabitants of Tilburg who are protected from a dragon'. But who is the one protecting the people of Tilburg? To find out, you will have to search for the place where it all happened. Somewhere in the middle of Tilburg, hidden between Oude Markt and Schouwburgpromenade (diagonally across from the Heikese church).

Much love,

Angelique Cornelissen


OLV ter Nood kapel, Kapelhof nr.6 (opening times & info see: www.onzelievevrouwternoodtilburg.nl)
Chairman/caretaker: Karel Bergmans
Dancer: Simone Caroline Narraina
Ballet-costume: Factorium Podiumkunsten
Chaplain: Karel Loodts
Artist: Daan Wildschut
Architect: Jos Schijvens
Photo & text: Stadsfotograaf2021 Angelique Cornelissen

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