6984 Hives (La Roche-en-Ardenne)
01 June - 30 September
Mon 10.00 - 18.00
Fri 10.00 - 18.00
Sat 10.00 - 18.00
Sun 10.00 - 18.00
Sunday : 11.15 am
This old church from 1586 was enlarged in 1860 and the tower dates from this period. It was restored in 1887. Inside are considerable 18th century furnishings.
This is an altar with the altarpiece by an unknown maker between 1701 and 1750, in worked wood, partially gilded. From the front the painting (brought from Mechelen in 1812) is "in the style of Rubens", represented between two inner columns in Corinthian style. There were curtains in purple velvet (which joined the lateral parts) of the statue that occupied the place between both the right and left columns, of the statue - placed on each side on a cylindrical block - of a large triangle, which crowned the painting mentioned, symbol of Trinity, with gilded rays rising from the central eye. These missing pieces date from the restoration of 1953.
Like the altar on the left, it is also in oak and partially gilded and dates from the years 1700-1750. The embodiment of the three theological virtues - faith, hope and mercy - occupy the porch of the altar. The polychrome statues, 60 cm high, with a crown on top of each head, carry a plume in the right hand. The distinction is double: the left hand and the colour of the robe: with the book and the blue colour (Faith) on the heart and the green colour (Hope) on the chest in dark red colour (Charity). Above the altar we see the Franciscan Saint Anthony of Padua wearing the Child Jesus.
Every year on Holy Thursday the small tabernacle welcomes the Body of Christ. During these days the altar was covered with large green and red parachute fabric bands. Above the altar, a niche has always welcomed a "statue" of the Virgin carrying the Child Jesus. It represents "the little Jesus of Prague", a duo that is not strange to us and that can be found in many local churches. A wooden replica of the statue of St Martin, placed in Piconrue, occupies the upper niche (the statues of the right altar are also replicas of the statues found in Piconrue, Bastogne).
Remember his use. On the side of the choir: a red velvet drapery decorated the small partially gilded columns. At the beginning of the Agnus Dei, an acolite stood up and turned the white tablecloth around so that it hung on the side of the audience. The kneeling believers per row, with their mouth open, their tongue stretched out (what a spectacle!) received the body of Christ. Less than half a century ago this was so! Occasionally it also had another function: it was used by the teacher who brought a chatty or frantic guy there by pulling him to his ears... By the teacher, or..., even more rare, by the Lord Pastor, or a mother who could no longer tolerate the behaviour of a child.
The painting, representing the young Mary with Child Jesus and her old cousin Elisabeth with John the Baptist, was brought from Mechelen in 1812. It decorated the main altar. The movement of this painting shows a rather unhappy initiative. In numerous churches, a great quality painting dominates the center of the main altar without disturbing the prayer or meditation. Here, does the emptiness thus created appreciate the main altar? Nothing is less certain since it can no longer enjoy its partial decoration.
A staircase leads to the oak hexagonal tub like the whole. The four outer panels show the images of the evangelists with their respective symbols attached to their fictitious "slide". The maker swapped the first two evangelists, because St. Mark precedes St. Matthew (angel). Sint-Lucas (beef) and Sint-Johannes (eagle) are indeed in the usual order. Under the canopy, a dove, originally decorated, as a symbol for the Holy Spirit like the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, which was to inspire the preacher. Above the soundboard, a musical organ blowing on his trumpet; the musical instrument is like the announcement of the Good News.
From bell tower to bell tower in the heart of the Ardennes (car 2 route) - Several churches are built on the very site of very old oratories, of which they have preserved traces. Some were destroyed and then rebuilt, especially after the Religious Wars. Others, more recent, testify to the styles in vogue at the time of our (great-)grandparents....
Tours "From bell tower to bell tower in the heart of the Ardennes" (bike tour 2) - The first parishes of the Ardennes were far apart. It took miles to get to Mass... Since the end of the 19th century, each village has wanted to build its own church. What an investment for the local community, but what a pride too!