On the way back to Amsterdam from Bruges, we made a stop at a beautiful, quaint little village called Lissewege. We pulled into the parking lot near the church below and were greeted by a cow moseying around the corner of a barn just a few yards away from us.
This church was sort of the central figure of the village. It was a little less ornate than the buidings we had seen in Bruges, but it was old (built in the 13th century), and beautiful, and amazing. Wait until you see the inside.
Looking up the side of the church tower. We have a lot of photos like this, looking up the sides of towers. I'm not sure why except that the Geek liked the towers, and I liked leaning back while he held me to keep me from falling backwards while I took the photo. :)
There was a small graveyard outside the church with graves from the past couple of centuries. Then we saw these stone panels on the side of the church and went to take a closer look.
They were sepulchres, and as you can see here, they dated back to the 1600s. I don't know who the people are who are buried here – if they were important people at the time, or church officials or what – but it was amazing to see that these "graves" embedded right into the walls of the church, were from 400 years ago. As I said before, I think one of the things that impacted me most in Europe was the presence of such ancient history all around you, nearly everywhere you go. You just don't see that where I live.
The inside of the church was so beautiful. It was simple, almost plain compared to some of the intricately ornate architecture we saw elsewhere (like Notre Dame which I will talk about in a future post), but even the simple details in the arches, pillars, and ceilings were just breathtaking. And again, the history – just knowing that we were standing in a church that had been standing there for nearly 800 years ... incredible.
These stained-glass windows featuring Saint Joseph, Saint Mary, and Saint Elgius (whom I had not heard of) were so beautiful. I imagine they are not as old as the church itself, but still quite beautiful.
After we left the church, we wandered around the village of Lissewege for a bit. There were a few restaurants (though they didn't seem to be open) and adorable houses, all with the typical red clay roofs of the area. This little canal ran right through town with houses lining it on either side, big gardens and chicken coops in the back yards. It was a beautiful little place to just wander and enjoy for an afternoon.
Next stop, Amsterdam!
Labels: Europe, vacation