8433 Mannekensvere (Middelkerke)
01 May - 30 September
Mon 10.00 - 16.00
Tue 10.00 - 16.00
Wed 10.00 - 16.00
Thu 10.00 - 16.00
Fri 10.00 - 16.00
Sat 10.00 - 16.00
Sun 10.00 - 16.00
The robust Church of Our Lady of Mannekensvere in typical yellow brick of polder clay is surrounded by a cemetery.
It is a three nave neogothic cental hall church thanks to a design from 1922, with an older tower from 1860. The building replaces a medieval church that was destroyed during the First World War, when almost the whole village was vanished. During the Second World War the village suffered also and was put completely under water.
Thanks to the order of the Knights Templars, who had a lot of properties and rights in this region, already early a chapel was built in Mannekensvere, that was transformed into this church of full value. The order of Knights Templars was a religious order of knighthood that during the crusade made the Holy War upon the Muslims in the Holy Land.
The west tower has a pavilion-roof. Outside the church, at the north side, you can see an image of Christ beneath a porch. The interior is white-washed underneath a sharp arched roof in wood. The sober furniture is made by the art technical school of Maredsous in 1925. The altars are made in a lightly art-deco style.
Mannekensvere itself arised, probably in the first half of the 12th century, along the road of communication Nieuport-Bruges. It was so named thanks to the proximity of the Yser where there was the shipping traffic from Ieper to Nieuport. Upon payment people could use the ferry-boat across the Yser. Mannekin was probably his earl’s captain of the ferry.
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