Place de la Collégiale
01 January - 31 December
Mon 9.00 - 16.00
Tue 9.00 - 16.00
Wed 9.00 - 16.00
Thu 9.00 - 16.00
Fri 9.00 - 16.00
Sat 9.00 - 16.00
Sun 9.00 - 16.00
+32 495 49 63 91
Sunday : 11 am - 7 pm
The only original part of this church is the gothic choir dating from 16th century. It was destroyed several times, the last being on 10th August 1914 when it was burnt down by the Germans.
It was rebuilt in 1924 at the same time as the chapel holding till 2010 the relics of Saint Hadelin. He was a monk disciple of Saint Remacle and lived at Celles near the Lesse in the 7th century. In 1046 the remains of the saint were placed in a reliquary decorated with silver reliefs. It is a work of art from the Meuse region in the form of a sarcophagus with silver panels illustrating the life of the saint (about 1160). It’s at Visé because the community of monks of Saint Hadelin moved here from Celles in 1338.
As well as the reliquary the church has a bust of the saint (14th and 17 th cent.), bas reliefs from Jean Del Cour, a lectern and organs.
The shrine of St. Hadelin is a remarkable work of art by the Meuse goldsmith. On the inside it contains three cases, two of which contain the primary relics of Saint Hadelin, Aquitaine missionary, in the footsteps of Saint Remaclus. The saint founded a community in Celles. The third case contains all kinds of objects (glove comb, coral, etc.) from the 11th century. The work of art is special because of its ten reliefs in emitted silver. The two gables from 1046 represent Christ as warrior and judge. On the long side walls are 8 scenes of the life of Saint Hadelin, ranging from a dream that reveals his mission to his funeral, with now the reception of his first pupils and his miracles. The canons of Celles fled to Visé in 1338.
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Arriving at Visé, the canons were welcomed with open arms. In order to put their patron saint in the spotlight, they took the saint's skull from the shrine and a sculptor realised a wooden bust around 1400, rather solemn, in which the skull was incorporated. In the 17th century, the cantor of the chapter, canon de Bloquerie, had this bust renovated on the occasion of his jubilee as a priest. He asked Jean Goesin to carry out a baroque renovation of the work of art. Every year, on the third Sunday in September, the statue is carried around in the procession. There is a lively veneration around this saint. He is called upon for children who can walk a little later than usual.
The walls of the choir were not too badly damaged by the fire of 10 August 1914. The first three stained-glass windows depict: on the left the Saint Martinus, patron saint of archers (gift of the armed guild, made by the studio Nicolas van Roermond, 1897) four scenes from the life of the H.Hadelin (gift of the family Dumoulin, made by the studio Nicolas van Roermond, 1898) and the Saint George, patron saint of the guild of marksmen (gift of this guild, by Louis de Contini, 1896). The walls and stained-glass windows were restored at the beginning of the XXIst century and reopened to the public in 2010. A new stained-glass window was added in the arches of the choir, work of the Pirotte workshop, and inaugurated in 2013.
The main altar was also, with the stained glass windows and sacristies, somewhat spared by the fire of August 10, 1914. Having won a grand prize at the Liège exhibition in 1905, the work of the Wilmotte workshop was restored in 1926. It evokes the image of sacrifice. Since Vatican II, this monumental work has remained the testimony of the offices of yesteryear.
The lectern-pelican is the gift of another singer of the chapter, Pierre Rochart. This is not surprising because the lectern was used to hold the antiphonary, a liturgical book containing the noted parts of the office. From a story by Saint Augustine that reminds us that the bird kills its young with beaks, mourns and after three days there is a wound whose blood gives life to the young. A wonderful image of the risen Christ, but by no means attested by ethology.
The bas-relief of Jean del Cour is located in the narthex. Damaged during the fire started by German troops on August 10, 1914, it now features only a white marble medallion with the profiles of Denis de Charneux and Catharine Pernode, draped in antique style. Their son, a lawyer from Charneux, wanted to honour his parents with this important work by Jean del Cour (1631-1707) at the end of his life (in 1682).
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