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Godewaersvelde, Heritage Village

Hikes & walks in Godewaersvelde

Godewaersvelde, Heritage Village  - Hikes & walks in Godewaersvelde
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Sightseeing walk around the village and Cats Mountain.

Description sheet

DepartmentNord
Departure municipalityGodewaersvelde
Outing typeHike
DifficultyEasy
Duration2h00
Recommended periodfrom january to december
EnvironmentCountryside
Kilometres6 km
Change in altitude164m

Access

Depart: Rue de Steenvoorde.

Itinerary

Depart from Rue de Steenvoorde, arrive at the main crossroads in the village, where you can see and maybe pop into several taverns. Each one has a special atmosphere full of simplicity and warm-heartedness, with rustic food and traditional games available.

Turn left towards the village centre. Arrive at the Neo-Gothic Church of St Peter. The old 16th-century “hallekerke” (hall church) was destroyed in a fire then later rebuilt in 1906. The beautifully crafted furniture was made by Gustave Pattein (1849-1924).

Turn left onto Rue de Callicanes. You will pass by the old Saint -Eloi Brewery. This building is a reminder of a local craft: Godewaersvelde was a major brewing centre in the early 20th century. Hop-growing made its mark on this part of Flanders. The manor house nearby belonged to the owners of the brewery.

Straight ahead, 100 metres away, discover the Museum of Border Life (Musée de la Vie Frontalière). This building was the village presbytery until 1988, surrounded by its traditional garden. It has since become a museum telling the story of a village whose destiny has been shaped by its location close to the border, through anecdotes about the world of customs and smuggling.

Retrace your steps for 100 metres and go down the street past the church on its left to arrive in front of Godewaersvelde’sold SNCF train station, now converted into a school. Turn left and pass through the recreation area on the greenway. Turn right at the end of this area and you will pass by the British cemetery. Godewaersvelde was greatly affected by the First World War; the British cemetery founded in 1917, one of the biggest in existence, pays tribute to the many soldiers who lost their lives during this conflict.

Continue along the Chemin Basse-Verdure. On the winding, steep-sided section of the Chemin du Moulin, you can see the Katshuuis, an authentic little thatched cottage. The sign erected by its owner provides lots of information about the history of Flanders and its dwellings.

Continue to the top of Cats Mountain to discover the Abbey of St Mary of the Mountain (Sainte-Marie du Mont). Inhabited by Antonine monks from the 17th century to the French Revolution, this building has been occupied since 1825 by Trappist monks. This important centre for spirituality and tourism in Flanders still subsists today, despite two very destructive World Wars.

Redescendre le mont par la route de l'Abbaye. Vous passerez sur cette route, devant la maison du peintre Nicolas Ruyssen, peintre ayant effectué de nombreux séjours dans les cours royales d'Europe Occidentale, et qui revint s'installer dans sa Flandre natale, au mont des Cats. Il est à l'origine de l'implantation des moines trappistes dans l'abbaye voisine.

De retour dans le village prendre à gauche par la Place Verte. Vous passez devant l'ancienne halle à houblon, preuve du passé industriel du village. Leurs propriétaires étaient de riches négociants locaux.

Au bout de la place, tournez à droite pour revenir à la rue de Steenvoorde.

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