Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Bezoekkerk

Heritage

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Source: Wizpr.guide

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The village of Lombardsijde was originally located in the dunes one mile from the current village. The old village was destroyed by the war and various natural phenomena. The church of the present-day village was restored in 1643 and reconstructed in 1769. During the war of 1914-18 the church was destroyed completely. The new church building, which is located on the village square, dates back to 1922.
The church was constructed in a Neo-Romanesque style and honours ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Sterre der Zee’. This is a Gothic statue that was found on the beach in 1596. The miniature boats in the church are votive offerings made by fishermen from the area.
Inside of the church you can find a main altar in marble and bronze and behind it is a calvary that comes from the old church. There are also thirteen modern stained glass windows representing the miracles of Our Lady from Lombardsijde (1966). The stained glass windows in the main chorus symbolise the three cardinal virtues: faith, hope and love and remorse.
In 1637 seven chapels were constructed around the church containing the ‘Seven sorrows of Maria’. Before every sailing the fishermen walked the processions. During these ceremonies the ‘IJslandvaarders’ carried the statue of ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Sterre der Zee’. The annual novena takes place from July 2, the former date of the Maria Visit, to July 10.

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