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Hermits, lords and saints

By bike

25.00 km

4 h

Hermits, lords and saints

This route shows that religious heritage doesn't have to be boring: lively stories and legends, a beautiful hidden hermitage and some beautiful historical churches and castles.

This bicycle tour is part of four routes designed by the network of Open Churches, "Rulers and Saints, Religious Heritage around Alden Biesen". 28 churches and heritage buildings in Limburg open their doors to share their history, their treasures and their unique atmosphere with you. These routes will take you back to the time of popular devotion, pilgrimages and hermits. You will meet the first Christians and the noble lords who shaped these beautiful buildings. You will learn more about the land commanders and monastic superiors who exerted their influence far beyond the borders of their domain.

Download the route in PDF (Dutch text)

  1. Kerk van de Landcommanderij – Alden Biesen

    A legend lies at the origin of the foundation of a chapel in Biesen. According to the story, at the beginning of the 13th century there were fierce disputes in the region. Our Lady appeared and asked for a chapel to be built for her, on which peace would return (...)

  2. Landcommanderij van Alden Biesen

    Alden Biesen was a country commander of the Teutonic Order. In 1220 they received the land from Alden Biesen. This complex was at the head of a long belt of commanderies that stretched from Bekkevoort all the way to Bonn. These were accountable to the land commander. He led the Alden Biesen complex. 

  3. Jeugdkapel – Hoeselt

    At the end of the Second World War the youth movements of Hoeselt built this chapel under the leadership of the vicar Vliegen. In the back wall a large field cross has been built in with the text: 'and no one who guesses my origin or knows my destiny' (...)

  4. Sint-Stefanuskerk – Hoeselt

    Strikingly colourful, classicistic church from the 18th century with a much older tower. Inside, the most valuable works of art are collected in a treasure room. The early gothic baptismal font is one of the oldest and most remarkable pieces in the church.

  5. De Kruislinde – Hoeselt

    This place is traditionally known as 'the cross lime'. This is where the borders of Hoeselt, Werm and Hardelingen came together. The border post was placed in 1685 and bears the coat of arms of prince-bishop Maximilian of Bavaria (...)

  6. Hermitage of Vrijhern – Hoeselt

    In the 17th century, the first hermit, Geert van Elst, settled here on the outskirts of the village. It is possible that he also built the nearby St. Anne's Chapel (...)

  7. Sint-Annakapel – Hoeselt

    On your way to the hermitage you will pass a small chapel that was built in 1653 and is dedicated to St. Anna. On a map from 1771 it is already referred to as 'Chapelle de Vier Linden'. Today it is still surrounded by four lime trees (...)

  8. Kasteel Renesse – Riemst

    Around 1200, the early medieval domain of Heldren was divided into two distincts territories, namely 's Herenelderen and Genoels-Elderen. The lords of 's Herenelderen, the family of Hamal, lived in this moated castle from the 13th century until 1501.

  9. Sint-Stefanuskerk – 's Herenelderen

    St. Stephen's Church was founded in 1261 by the lords of Elderen, the inhabitants of the nearby castle. The present Gothic church dates from the 15th century and is entirely built in marl stone (...)

  10. Sint-Martinuskerk – Genoelselderen

    The Sint-Martinus church was built by order of Prince Bishop Jean-Louis d'Elderen (1688-1694) and was in keeping with the Meuse style of that time. This church was preceded at least by a Romanesque building (...)



Church buildings on the route

Sint-Stefanus

Sint-Stefanus

3730
12km

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