4287 Racour (Lincent)
01 June - 01 August
Mon 14.00 - 17.00
Fri 14.00 - 17.00
Sat 14.00 - 17.00
Sun 14.00 - 17.00
By appointment : +32-496-65 42 19
+32-478-32 91 00
Wednesday : 5.30 pm
Saturday : 4 pm
The astonishing church of St Christopher in Racour, a village on the Hesbaye plateau not far from Landen, is noticeable for its imposing square tower (33m) which had evidently been built for defence. It dates from the 14th century and has three levels. It is possible to climb the spiral staircase in the tower, which still has its observation posts and loop–holes.
In the porch is a giant statue 14th century of Saint Christopher, 2m 95 tall. It is the oldest wooden statue in Europe of Saint Christopher carrying the infant Jesus. It is polychrome and depicts the saint in olympian and majestic pose, as though lost in thought, carrying a smiling child.
Within the church on the right of the rood-screen is a second statue of Saint Christopher. This one is much smaller, dates from the 18th century, and, in contrast with the first one, shows a saint in action as though rowing over the waves with watchful eyes turned towards the child he is carrying. It is interesting to compare the two statues.
The well kept interior of the church is essentially Gothic in Gobertange stone and plaster and gives a pleasing impression. There are also 15th century baptismal fonts, stained-glass windows in the chancel(1956) and some small wooden statues of saints.
It is the dungeon of the Lord of Racour, vassal of the Duke of Brabant in the Middle Ages.
It is 33 m high and served as an observation and defence tower.
Note the loopholes in the little stair tower leading to the two floors.
The Gothic church was attached to the tower two centuries later. It was recently restored in a harmonious way. French stone replaced the local marl limestone. This was strongly affected by the weather conditions. The buttresses that strengthen the nave with three naves, as well as the pararets were completely rebuilt.
This statue was carved from the trunk of an oak tree. The giant rests on a stick and holds the child of Jesus pressed against his left shoulder. His somewhat stiff posture underlines his blessed age as he is a contemporary of the tower from the 14th century. Within the community life, he gave rise to the creation of a folkloric guild that bears his name.
The nave with two bays opens towards the side aisles with broken arches that originate on the columns in Gobertangesteen, surrounded by a ring of moulures. These arches allow the light to flow in abundantly through the side windows.
Christ, his loins girded in a white bodice, supports against his Mother. Mary Magdalene is holding his arm, John has collapsed through his sorrow. The angel brings the martyr's palm.
This canvas that used to be on the main altar is said to be a copy from the studio of the Liège painter Bertholet Flémal from the 17th century. Characteristic of his style are the noble feelings and the serenity.
On an octagonal plinth in Maasland sandstone and decorated with a moulure, stands a baptismal tub in eight panels, decorated with four human heads, in relief. The facial expressions are strikingly different, a man wears a long moustache, the foreheads are girded with a band, the hairs are combed in a round shape above the ears. The style is reminiscent of the hairdo of the 15th century.