Willem Vandenameele

Willem Vandenameele

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Chapel Notre dame de la forêt

Chapel

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If you take the old path from Houffalize up to the edge of the woods, you will see one of the most beautiful religious buildings of the district, the Chapelle de Forêt chapel.It is located next to the old path that goes from Houffalize to Sommerain, at the edge of the wood called "Forêt". It is the object of a pilgrimage. This chapel is mentioned for the first time in Jean Thieskin's will that is dated from the 25th of March 1656 where he says he gives 50 florins if a chapel is built in honour of Our Lady in the Forêt wood. If the current chapel dates back to about 1750, and if it was rebuilt by Friar Fule Bechoux (a monk at the priory from Houffalize who also was the parish priest from Taverneux), the chapel might have built for the first time before 1656. The architect succeeded in giving it a Mosan aspect with its curved roof and with the onion-shaped domes that remind of the collegiate church from Dinant or the Town hall from Visé. The sanctuary is covered with slates that make drawings and it is a 18th-century-jewel that is unique in the province. (It was classed in 1975).The altar dates back to 1766, the panelling were put after 1768, nobody knows when the five paintings were put, and the iron-fencing in 1879.a restauration in 1993 gave it back its splendour of long ago, among others thanks to an outstanding work of the slates.The forest chapel is of hexagon shape and it is preceeded by a western-styled porch and that has an eastern-styled projection that gives the chapel the shape of a cross.The difference with the other religious buildings is are they are more long than large. This chapel is more central such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem or the Aya Sofia in Constantinople, the Carolingian Chapel in Aachen, and the Our Lady Chapel in Scherpenheuvel, albeit in Baroque style (Source: Maison du tourisme of Houffalize-La Roche).

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