After the Kingdom of the Netherlands was founded, the catholics in the south of the country were once again allowed to build their own churches. This had been illegal from 1648 until 1815. The Saint Antonius Cathedral was built in 1836-1837, designed by architect Pieter Huijsers. The government financially supported the building of churches like these and because of this reason, the design and building method had to be tested by what was then the Ministry of Water Management. These churches were mostly characterized by their colossal appearance and neoclassical style and the Saint Antonius Cathedral is no exception. The sculpture on the front of the church represents Faith. The diocese of Breda used the church as its cathedral between 1853 and 1875.
A beautiful pulpit is located inside the church, decorated with wooden carvings of events from the life of the Holy Antonius of Padua. What’s remarkable is that parts of the interior were made using painted papier-mâché, like the tops of the columns. This technique was commonly used in the nineteenth century as an alternative to plaster.
In 2001, the church was again turned into a cathedral and it was renovated in 2004. One of its most remarkable elements is the altar, which can sink into the ground to make space for other activities. The altar is made of 2,00-year-old oak, sourced from a borrow pit.