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The Churches of the Area

Saint-Barthélémy Church in Familleureux

The parish church was built in three sections, during three different periods.

The chancel, dating back to 1186, contains the statue of Notre-Dame de Familleureux, one of the oldest of Belgium (it is estimated to date prior to 1200).  The Virgin, crowned with a mural crown and dressed in a tight coat, is seated in a cathedral, with open hands, and seems to keep the Baby Jesus seated on her left knee.




After a miraculous apparition said to have taken place between 1404 and 1411, Familleureux has become a place of pilgrimage where the faithful in the parish flock during the month of September.


The exterior compound of the building offers an original collection of old crosses, truncated columns and sculpted monuments representing a sort of open-air art gallery, particularly on the left side where the old cemetery was located.

Sainte-Vierge et Boniface Church at Arquennes

The chancel of this parish church would have been constructed around 1425, under the Seigneur Melchior d’Arquennes.  In the exterior compound, behind the building, stands a large lobed cross marking the site of an old Calvary monument, which has been gone for some thirty years.  Above the right lateral great door, a stone niche houses a statue of the Miraculous Virgin.


Beside the church, a niche framed with two crudely cut vertical stones was set in an old rubble-stone wall.  It contains a statue of the Sacred Heart



Saint-Martin Church in Petit-Roeulx-lez-Nivelles

This church, registered as a historical site on March 13, 1943 and dedicated to Saint Martin, was built in the 16th century with some of its stones coming from the quarries of Arquennes and others recuperated from the old castle that once stood in the surrounding countryside.


Like many other places of worship, the Saint Martin Church has undergone various transformations.  It opens by way an interior door in massive oak, with nails and fittings.  The pavement is comprised of large slabs of blue stone.


The confessionals are finely sculpted and the pulpit dates back to 1658; its pediment, with a sculpted wooden medallion, represents a mitered person, wearing a hunting horn (St. Hubert?).




From each side of the chancel, the small altars, also in worked wood, are dedicated to Saint Christopher and to Our Lady of Lourdes.  The arched ceilings are inlaid with small wooden strips. 


Along the interior walls, you can notice a good number of gravestones.  On the secondary doors, from the 17th century, as well as on the blue stone columns, innumerable stone-cutters’ marks can be seen.


Outside, the cemetery houses several tombs from the 19th century.

Sainte-Aldegonde Church in Feluy

The primitive church was offered to the Bonne-Espérance Abbey by Robert and Hugo d’Harvent, in 1177.  It was later reconstructed or modified several times, notably after having been subjected to the furor of iconoclasts who came from Brussels in 1585.  On this occasion, it was given three naves.


Having become too small, the building was expanded in 1722.  From the previous building, only the lantern tower remains, whose lovely arched ceiling can be admired by entering the building.


The Saint Aldegonde Altar was constructed in 1589, that of the Virgin Mary in 1635.  Recently, the municipality of Seneffe had an organ set up in the nave, after restoration.




Saints-Cyr-et-Julitte Church in Seneffe

In the beginning, the Church of Seneffe fell under the control of the diocese of Cambrai, but in 1125 it passed under the jurisdiction of the Bonne-Espérance Abbey.  In 1750, the buildings were in a very bad condition, but the church was not demolished until the 19th century to make way for the current building.  The discovery of bones proves that a cemetery once surrounded the building.


The church that you can see today, an imposing neo-Roman edifice in brick and limestone, was constructed from 1875 on based on the plans of the architect J. Bruyenne, and opened for worship on Christmas Day, 1877.


In 1940, it was heavily touched by German fire.  The same year, a violent storm knocked down the spire, which fell onto the central nave, destroying the roof structure, the arches, and a portion of the furniture.  Finally, two bells were carried away by the German authority in August 1943.  These destructions justified an important reconstruction after the end of the war.



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