Place du Bailliage
5500 Bouvignes-sur-Meuse (Dinant)
01 January - 31 December
Only on request:
email@example.com +32 477 98 00 75 (Frère Jean-Baptiste)
or Maison du Patrimoine médiéval mosan: +32 82 22 36 16
Free and on request:
via the Maison du Patrimoine médiéval mosan
(open all year round except Mondays)
www.mpmm.be - firstname.lastname@example.org +32 82 22 36 16
Sundays and public holidays: 10.30 am
More information on the parish website:
Bouvignes is located on the Meuse opposite Dinant and one has the feeling that time has stopped here. The town was once known for its copper beaters and was prosperous. Traces of this are still visible today with the remains of the count’s ancient castle and the keep of Crèvecoeur which dominates the village.
Amongst the old blue stone or timbered houses, of which the old Spanish or so called bailiff’s house is one, stands the imposing church with its powerful square tower. The building dates from the 12th century. Over the centuries it has been subjected to a number of destructions, transformations and renovations. After the damage caused by the 1914-1918 war early Gothic style was emphasised.
Inside is a very beautiful altarpiece of the true cross created in 16th century Antwerp, a 15th century Christ Pieta and a pulpit.
For a year now, the church has kept a very beautiful invitation to prayer: more than a hundred holy images or icons from Russia and Greece from the 16th to the 21st century.
16th century, polychrome wood.The church of Saint-Lambert in Bouvignes is home to one of the few surviving altarpieces produced in Antwerp in the mid-16th century. At present, this Passion altarpiece is kept on a secondary altar in the south aisle of the building. Work of the Bouvignois cabinetmaker Jean Leuthard, this altar consists of a sarcophagus set under a table, made of wood painted to resemble marble.The altarpiece itself is made of carved and polychrome oak. It is 3.50 m high, 2.57 m wide and 0.35 m deep. It consists of a lower part, 0.70 metres high, called the "predella", and an upper part called the "box" or "hutch". These two parts of the altarpiece form a rectangle. The box is divided into six niches, three each in two registers. Each of these niches contains a sculpted group representing an episode from the Passion of Christ. The iconographic programme of the work has given it the name 'Passion Altarpiece' or 'Altarpiece of the True Cross'.
It was made by an Antwerp workshop shortly after the sack of the city in 1554 and was donated to the church by Jean Patenier and his wife Jeanne Bouille to be placed on the new high altar. It is a precious example of Renaissance inspiration in the Mosan valley.The altarpiece was restored in the early 1990s by the IRPA, thanks to the support of the King Baudouin Foundation and the National Lottery. Over the centuries, the altarpiece has lost some of its sculpted reliefs and paintings. Of the three painted panels that originally adorned the three compartments of the predella, only one has been preserved: it was found in October 2015 and returned to the Saint-Lambert church in February 2016.In March 2010, this masterpiece was declared "Exceptional Heritage of Wallonia".
1st half of the 16th century, oak, h. 178 cm high.
Wearing a crown of thorns, Christ is dressed in a perizonium (cloth around the loins). Bound and seated on a rock, he weeps as he awaits crucifixion. The whole figure is characterised by a contrast between the relatively slender upper part (head and trunk) and the massive aspect of the lower part. This contrast suggests the split between the spirit rising to God and the body imprisoned awaiting crucifixion. The suggestion of movement is evoked by the torsion of the bust and the inclination of the head to the left. The positioning of the right leg, slightly tilted, accentuates this impression. Its large size is quite unusual for this type of work.
It is generally accepted that the Christ of Pity in Bouvignes came from a Brabant workshop, the work of a master whose identity has not been revealed. This oak sculpture commemorates the end of the restoration work on the building after the wars with the people of Liège in the 15th century. Its relocation to the cemetery is attested in 1639. Protected by a lean-to, it was still there at the beginning of the 19th century, when it was returned to the church.
The work was partially restored in the 1920s by the Royal Institute for Artistic Heritage (IRPA).
17th century, oak, attributed to the Valencian sculptor Pierre Schleiff (1601-1640).
On 9 May 1770, the town's magistrate bought the pulpit of truth from the Premonstratensian abbey of Floreffe, which was in the process of being refurbished, a pulpit that had been missing in Bouvignes until then.
The start of the staircase is flanked by busts of Saints Paul and Peter. The banister is decorated with cherubs intertwined in the vines. At the corners of the vat, or barrel, are the symbols of the four evangelists: the eagle (St John), the child (St Matthew), the lion (St Mark) and the bull (St Luke). Around the pulpit, medallions include busts of the Virgin Mary, St Augustine, St John and St Norbert, the founder of the Premonstratensians.
The upper part of the pulpit was surmounted by a canopy designed to support the preacher's voice towards the congregation. Now lost, it came from the chapel of the Augustinians of Bouvignes. The dove, which adorned its centre, is now attached to the cross vaults of the east choir.
Early 17th century, copper-based alloy, h. 150 cm.
The lectern is the support for the gospel. The eagle that decorates it symbolises heaven, the soul and the Holy Spirit. The eagle, king of the heavens, has been known since antiquity as a bearer of power and victory. Like Christ confronting the devil, the eagle fights against the snake. It is also associated with the evangelist Saint John. For church lecterns, the eagle holds a globe under its claws, symbolising its universal sovereignty. During the Middle Ages, the brass eagle-lutrin was widely used throughout Europe.
Because of its position, with its head curved towards its chest, the Bouvignes lectern is sometimes called a pelican-lectern. In iconography, the pelican is represented as piercing its chest to feed its chicks. This theme has been transposed into the liturgy to symbolise the charity, love and sacrifice of Christ. This type of lectern became more common in the 16th and 17th centuries.
A light fixture was hung on the bird's head. The work is attributed to the Bouvignois copper smith Antoine de Nassogne († 1621).
About 1629, copper-based alloy, h. 116 cm.
It was made for Antoine de Nassogne, who died in 1621, alderman and copper beater, and his wife Marguerite le Bidart, who died in 1629. It is decorated with the Nassogne-Bidart coat of arms. It shows a wild man armed with a club carried on his shoulder and surmounting a helmet in profile, coats of arms, a small cauldron and a winged angel's head.
The blade used to be in the choir of the church. It was broken by a falling bell and restored shortly before 1888.
At the instigation of the church's Fabrique, this space was converted into a winter chapel in 2008 to accommodate the faithful during Sunday services. It houses the church treasury, including numerous pieces of liturgical silverware. Exceptionally, the church has kept practically all the chalices of its servants since the end of the 17th century.
2014, glass table supported by two hands representing those of Christ, copper-based alloy, h. 93.50 cm.
The work of the artists Simon Lewi (1924-2020) and Piotr Stolowsky. Similar altars are preserved in the church of Sainte-Croix de La Futaie in Watermael-Boitsfort; Saint-Joseph in Wezembeek-Oppem and Saint-Antoine de Padoue in Etterbeek. Saint Michael's Cathedral in Brussels also has a remarkable group of works, including an altar with two pelicans, an eagle and a Paschal candle, which can be admired in the Chapel of the Virgin Mary. In Bouvignes, the artist also made the cathedra of the Saint-Lambert church (seat where the priest who presides over religious services sits).
Detours and other pilgrimages in Namur (loop 4) - The time machine does not yet exist. Maybe one day... In the meantime, if you want to go back a few centuries, a short walk through Bouvignes and Dinant is a must.