01 January - 31 December
Mon 9.00 - 17.00
Tue 9.00 - 17.00
Wed 9.00 - 17.00
Thu 9.00 - 17.00
Fri 9.00 - 17.00
Sat 9.00 - 17.00
Sun 9.00 - 17.00
dienst cultuur : +32-53-60 72 35
A little bit a history: The Archangel Michael is the patron saint of this church, and yet the veneration of Saint Livinius is closely connected with this place. The Irish evangelist Livinus who preached in the region, was beheaded and died as a martyr. He was buried in Houtem. The raising of the ground of the current church by around 1 m indicated that the sepulchre of the saint was located in the crypt under the church. Today visitors come to admire the new ceremonial tomb of Saint Livinius, adorned with a recumbent figure and scenes of his life.
The first church, in the Romanesque style, was erected in the 11th and 12th centuries. Unfortunately, it was demolished in part in the 15th century. Then it suffered damage during the religious wars and under the French domination. Nonetheless certain parts were saved: the choir, flanked by two staircase turrets and a martyrium*, dating from the 10th century, bracketed to the south staircase turret.
Between 1769 and 1779, the current church was built in the Classical style. This is a church with three naves of brick, whose west façade is made of sandstone.
In the interior, old frescoes, representing the life of Saint Livinius, have been preserved. The major part of the furnishings date from the 18th century.
The pearl of the cabinet making is the organ case dating from 1786. Restored in 1982, the organ is a masterpiece by Pieter Van Peteghem.
The high altar carved in oak contains pictures of sacrifices that were offered in the temple of Jerusalem at the time, which depict the bloody cross sacrifice.
Also the picture of the arks of the covenant with heavenmanna, bunches of grapes, wheat ears, (picture of Holy Communion).
Right side altar: "The Martyrdom of St. Livinus" painted in 1603 by the Antwerper Abraham Janssens ( 1575-1632).
Left side altar: "Setting of the Rosary" painted in 1643, by the Ghenter Niklaas de Liemackere, nicknamed "Rooze" (1601-1646).
Never served as a depository for the relics of the Saint, but it is possible that the Saint was buried there. This tomb was erected much later around 1450 as a souvenir of St. Livinus. Under the tomb there is a space of 2 meters deep and there is no trace of a corridor, only 4 walls and an earthen floor.
He is the patron saint of our parish. Every year on November 12th, on the feast day of St. Livinus, there is the possibility of blessing. That day, the well-known annual fair, which is part of the National Intangible Heritage, takes place!
In 2001- 2002 the Livinus Chapel was restored and reconstructed in the state as this former side chapel was in 1465, when it was rebuilt as a Livinus crypt.
The upper chapel is easily accessible, and in the crypt you can see various preserved objects as well as the shrine with the relics of St. Brixius.
It was built in 1780 by the famous Ghent organ builders Pieter Van Peteghem & sons. Over the years changes and repairs have been carried out. The last restoration dates from 2007.