Picture: centre of Den Hoorn with the Saint Ritachurch .  

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Our Ladies church Damme
Lapscheure church
Hoeke church
Neo-gothic complex

Ruins old church Lapscheure


Sint-Ritakerk van Den Hoorn

Location: Hoornstraat 90, 8340 Den Hoorn [gps]
Accessibility: freely accessible

You cannot call this church a monument because it has been constructed only a few decades ago but still it is one of the most important prayer houses of Damme.  The reason for this is that the patron saint of Den Hoorn is the Holy Rita of Cascia.  In a very short period of time it has become the most visited site of pilgrimage in the area.

On the spot where the church is now, there used to be a railway yard, where the tram from Bruges to Aardenburg stopped to load and unload its cargo.  During the Second World War, this tram line was abolished and replaced by a bus service.  The rails of the tramway were broken out to use the precious iron for the war machine.  At the end of that war, the brigdes over the Leopold- and Schipdonkcanal were blown and because of that the parishioners of Den Hoorn could no longer reach the main church (Saint-Dionysius church of Moerkerke) to attend the religious services.  As soon as in 1945 an emergency church was erected with mainly recuperated material from the war.  A second temporary church was built in 1960.

In 1975, the first stone was layed for the present church and nearly two years later, on 2 October 1977, it was inaugurated.   The inspirator of the church was the late priest Ackaert, who erected this house of prayer together with a group of enthusiastic volunteers from the village.  Afterwards, a parishional centre was built next to the church.

 Den Hoorn


Hendrik De Leyn -