Picture: rural Vivenkapelle.     

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The horse of Viven
Castle Altena

Our Ladies church Damme
Lapscheure church
Hoeke church

Ruins old church Lapscheure


Neo-gothic complex and church of Viven

Location: Weststraat, 8340 Vivenkapelle [gps]
Accessibility: freely accessible (only the church)

This is a genuine pearl of neo-gothic architecture.  Only two such complexes exist in the whole of Flanders.  The complex consists of a church, a friary, a convent for sisters and a presbytery.  Anyone who is in the village, will see that these buildings are not the only ones in neo-gothic style; some houses have also been built around the same time and in the same style.

In 1350 the people received the permission to erect a chapel on this spot.  In 1827, this chapel was purchased by the family Verhulst, who restored her again and founded two schools on the premises. These schools are still there and have such a good reputation, that children from outside the village come here for their education.  The old chapel is nicely incorporated in the new church and very good visible on the backside of the church (the building in white stone at the back of the church).  The present cluster of buildings was constructed beween 1860 and 1869 and can entirely be attributed to the family Verhaegen-Verhulst.  In 1885, Vivenkapelle became an independent parish.

The church herself was consecrated in 1867 by the bishop of Bruges and has "Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Geboorte and Philippus" as patron saint.  The interior contains lots of pieces that are older than the building herself.  In the eighties of the last century, the church was restored.   A restoration for and repairs to the other buildings is also planned. 

The entire complex is listed as a protected monument.

 Den Hoorn




Hendrik De Leyn -

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