ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Wervik, Belgium, with its Sint-Medarduskerk overlooking the Lys River: a prominent, spired landmark

Updated on May 23, 2013
Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
The Sint-Medarduskerk and the Leiebrug in Wervik, on the Lys river. Wervik, West-Flanders, Belgium
The Sint-Medarduskerk and the Leiebrug in Wervik, on the Lys river. Wervik, West-Flanders, Belgium | Source
The first photo of the Sint Medarduskerk in Wervik, in the 1890s, by Isidore Blieck, seen yet minus the spire
The first photo of the Sint Medarduskerk in Wervik, in the 1890s, by Isidore Blieck, seen yet minus the spire | Source
The Sint-Medarduskerk in Wervik
The Sint-Medarduskerk in Wervik | Source
Map location of Wervik, West Flanders province
Map location of Wervik, West Flanders province | Source

A spire's height exceeding the length of the building

The church building known as the Sint-Medarduskerk at Wervik, Belgium, did not previously have a spire, But at the end of the 19th century, when the church at Wervicq-Sud (actually in France, across the Lys River (1), acquired one, a spire was added to the edifice at Wervik, also!

Thus with the addition of the prominent spire to the Sint-Medarduskerk, this building, with its 86 metre tower, dominates the very flat landscape around the Lys River.

Interestingly, its tower height is greater than the building's length, which is 81 metres. When one crosses the bridge at Wervik into Belgium from France, the tower seems to overwhelm all else in the town.

The parish church building was commenced in the 13th century, at a time of increasing prosperity in a district known for its textile industry. The tower (minus the spire!) was completed in 1433. Stone was the chief building material in which the structure was executed. The architecture is in a combination of Gothic styles: Brabant and Scheldt Gothic.

In the 16th century, Protestants destroyed a number of images in the building. The interior of the edifice has some interesting and ancient gravestones.

The building has repeatedly suffered war damage. A program of restoration was pursued in the approximately 30 years following 1980.

The town also has an interesting old windmill.

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme (1960-), who served in that office in 2008 and again from 2009 until 2011, was born in Wervik.

January 7, 2013

Note

(1) I have used the spelling 'Lys' for this river, since in English this is the usual convention, but at Wervik itself, in the West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen ) province of the Flemish region (Dutch: Vlaams gewest ), Belgium, the spelling 'Leie' is observed, this being the Dutch form. For several kilometres in the Wervik area, the Franco-Belgian border follows the Lys River.

Also worth seeing

In Wervicq-Sud , France (joined to Wervik by a bridge), its local church building has an imposing spire (see also, above), and dates from 1875

Menen , Belgium (distance: 7.2 kilometres) has many interesting features, including a city hall (Dutch: stadhuis) with a striking, octagonal tower.

...

How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available. Brussels is the nearest large airport to Wervik (distance: 124 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company NMBS/SNCB maintains a service between Brussels and Wervik . For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, please refer to appropriate consular sources.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)