4560 Ocquier (Clavier)
01 June - 30 September
Mon 11.00 - 18.00
Tue 11.00 - 18.00
Wed 11.00 - 18.00
Thu 11.00 - 18.00
Fri 11.00 - 18.00
Sat 11.00 - 18.00
Sun 11.00 - 18.00
As suggested by its mass, the thickness of its walls and the loopholes on its sides, the church tower was designed from the beginning to shelter the inhabitants of the village in the event of a raid. Its entrance gate and upper part are more recent. Rebuilt after a storm in 1617, its structure has a beam engraved with a vintage that has long been read "1017" (the 6 being easy to confuse with a 0).
The decorative motif that adorns the masonry of the church is characteristic of the first Romanesque buildings: a succession of pilasters in low relief, connected in height by a frieze of arcatures (semicircles). A stylistic "signature" that historians associate with the masons of Lombardy (in northern Italy) who spread Romanesque art to our regions from the reign of Charlemagne.
The right lateral access to the church, now closed by a gate, is paved with numerous stones juxtaposed "of edge" (i.e. vertically, so that only their edges appear). Their chevron alignment gives a beautiful dynamic to the whole. This is a know-how that has almost disappeared nowadays....
Sculpted in the 16th century, this octagonal tank rests on a heavy square base. The four naive faces that decorate the corners, strangely overwhelmed, traditionally represent the four cardinal points and the four rivers of paradise. In the past, baptismal fountains (from Latin ‘fon’s, fountain or spring) were always located at the entrance of churches, as unbaptized people could not access the center of the building.
This representation of Jesus crucified impresses by its particularly expressive model. A style that evokes Master Balthazar’s, well known in the region in the 16th century. The face of the tormented person appears peaceful, in contrast to the tension of his protruding muscles. The skull and cross at the foot of the cross, which reminds us that the crucifixion took place on Golgotha hill ("skull" in Hebrew).
This effigy of the holy founder of Stavelot Abbey (on which the village of Ocquier depended in the early Middle Ages) is a recent work of bare wood. The original statue, unfortunately stolen, was one of the most beautiful of Master Balthazar (1520-1530). We can recognize the abbot's crook and, at his feet, the wolf loaded with stones that the saint had miraculously erected to help him build his monastery.