Visiting the Sankt-Lambertus-Kapelle, Eupen, Belgium: Baroque elegance dating from 1690
A gem of real estate heritage
The German-Speaking Community (German: Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft)(1) in eastern Belgium, and its cultural, architectural and natural heritage, deserve to be better known than they are. The capital of the German-Speaking Community is Eupen, which possesses a number of fine, historic buildings.
One of these buildings is the Sankt-Lambertus-Kapelle. This striking, ecclesiastical structure dates from 1690. Its smooth, Baroque features make it a priceless part of the town's architectural inventory.
Very prominent at the Sankt-Lambertus-Kapelle are pediments of various sizes, both at roof-level and over the principal entrance. A small bell-tower is situated behind the apex of the largest pediment. The building is executed in stone.
The church building's organ dates from 1840. A program of renovation was carried out in 1975 on the building.
Even though Eupen is only a few kilometres from the Dutch border, and is also close to the German State of North Rhine-Wesphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen), this church building seems very much to relate culturally and architecturally to southern Germany, influenced by the Counter-Reformation tradition. Indeed, one is reminded of pre-Reformation times when much of Western European European Christendom was centred on Charlemagne's city of Aachen, itself only a few kilometres from Eupen.
In Eupen itself, the Sankt-Nikolaus-Kirche is a better-known ecclesiastical structure; indeed, the distinctive, twin towers of the Sankt-Nikolaus-Kirche have become somewhat of a symbol of the town, and are sometimes even stylized on a logo representing the municipality. But the Sankt-Lambertus-Kapelle, is older, though smaller, than the Sankt-Nikolaus-Kirche, is older.
Truly a gem of real estate heritage, the Sankt-Lambertus-Kapelle is situated at the town's Worthplatz. This gives rise to another name by which the building is sometimes known: the Worthkapelle. Nearby is an ornate fountain, known as the Weberbrunnen. The visitor to the town will thus be surprised at the extent its historic buildings, among which this is a leading example.
Eupen is located in the Liège (German: Lüttich) province of Belgium's Walloon region (German: Wallonische Region; French: Région wallonne).
January 7, 2014
(1) This area is often known alternatively as the Ostkantone, referring to the Cantons of Eupen and Malmédy in Liège province, which contain a very significant German-speaking population.
In Eupen itself, other noted buildings include: Haus Grand Ry, seat of government for Belgium's German-speaking Community (German: Deutschsprachige Gemeinde); the twin-towered Sankt-Nikolaus-Kirche, the town museum, based at an old merchant's house, and the Protestant Friedenskirche.
How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York (JFK) to Brussels Airport, where car hire is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Eupen: 126 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company SNCB maintains a service from Brussels to Eupen. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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