01 July - 31 August
Thu 8.00 - 12.00
Sat 13.00 - 17.00
Sun 8.00 - 17.00
The protected late Gothic church can be found in the centre of Overijse. It is close to an infamous S-curve in the old road between Brussels and Namur. The heart of the church, including a visitor centre on grape cultivation, is protected heritage. Saint Martin is the archetypical patron saint of churches founded around 800.
This cross-shaped church was constructed out of sandstone. The tower has a Romanesque core from the twelfth century. The choir was built after a fire in 1489. The other parts of the church were struck by a second fire and have been restored during the seventeenth century. The first fire killed 300 persons. The second fire burned a big part of the village to ashes.
A tombstone in the choir gives access to the family crypt of Horne. The family tree and the family ties to the Belgian royalty are explained in the sacristy. Elsewhere in the church you can find the tombstone of Maria Lips, sister of Justus Lipsius. He was a famous humanist and professor in Leuven (born in Overijse in 1547).
In the interior you can also find a stone baptismal font from the sixteenth century with the weapon of the lords of Wittem, two holy water fonts in bluestone, two baroque side altars in marbled wood and six confessionals. The sandstone altar and the oak choir are both neo-Gothic.
The paintings in the transepts date back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century. They depict several subjects: the Supper at Emmaus, the Elevation of the Cross, Saint Helena recognising the true Cross and Our Lady giving the Rosary to Saint Dominic. The statue of Saint Martin in the left transept was a gift of the ex-combatants of the First World War from Overijse.
The three beautiful stained glass windows behind the main altar are by the hand of J.-B. Capronnier. They tell the story of Saint Martin. You can find a modern stained glass window from 1987 on the left side of the choir. It was made by local artist Jean Rigaux.
Inventory Architectural heritage
Local History Society De Beierij van Ijse (www.beierij.be)