8953 Wijtschate (Heuvelland)
01 January - 31 December
Mon 9.00 - 18.00
Tue 9.00 - 18.00
Wed 9.00 - 18.00
Thu 9.00 - 18.00
Fri 9.00 - 18.00
Sat 9.00 - 18.00
Sun 9.00 - 18.00
During the First World War, the village of Wijtschate was totally destroyed as evidenced by its ten cemeteries and twelve mine craters.
The Neo-Gothic church was built in 1924-25 by the architects H and M Leborgne, who also made the plans for the school, the cloister and other buildings in the village.
The church has three naves and a tower topped by four small towers and a spire. The overall result differs considerably from the previous late Gothic church, which itself had already been destroyed during the religious wars at the end of the 16th century.
Inside, the church is sober, and the brick and stone are patterned as are the confessionals and fonts.
The statue of Saint Genevieve van der Linde (of the lime tree) comes from the chapel that used to be in the “De Linde” quarter.
The 1929 organ is by Jules Anneessens.
There are five stained glass windows in the choir. The first one depicts the Holy Julian (gift from the mayor Julien Fournier). The Holy Melania and Julius are references to the beneficiaries Jules Godtschaick and his wife Melanie Bouchaert. Audomarus is a reference to the pastor Omer Verschuere.
A wooden statue of the Holy Virgin Mary came from the former chaplain of the Linde. The polychrome statues of the saints were painted white around 1970.
The tower clock was made in 1930. It was supposed to ring the angelus three times a day. The time of ringing was adjustable. In 2000 the clock was fully cleaned thanks to the good care of Adrien Lignel. The piece is intact and still works perfectly.
In the side choir of the Holy Medardus, two modern stained glass windows can be seen. They depict the Holy. Lukas and the Holy Remigius
On Easter 2010 the church regained the clapper of the grand bell that was destroyed in 1914. The clapper weighs 50 kilos. Descendants of a British soldier returned the candleholders and the cross back in 1980.
The interior of the church was designed by the art ateliers of the abbey of Maredsous led by Abbot Sébastien Braun. The communion benches are only partially saved. The woodcarving of the church portal shows three statues among which one depicts the lost son and one the good saint. The Calvary was made by J. Lelan.