From Bruges to Damme and finally Sluis (NL). Picture taken on the road back home, in january 2009 - a froozen canal ( 12 yrs ago was the last time this happened ) between Bruges and Sluis. In the picture : Lapscheure, close to Damme and Sluis.
After you have visited the church, keep walking on the same side of the rod to the little bridge.
Just before the bridge, on the right, is a 'wandelpad' (footpath) which leads you alongside a little river back to the main road from Bruges.
It's a lovely walk through trees, with excellent views of the church, plenty of birds and ends up with a pretty stunning view of the Schellemolen windmill.
The whole walk will only take you about 10-15 minutes, so it really is well worth doing.
Although they are very difficult to see, the church of Our Lady in Damme has some very old (and very important, in consequence) wooden carvings of the Apostles tucked high into the roof.
They date from 13th century, were once painted and are possibly the oldest such carvings in Belgium.
They only escaped destruction in the 16th century bceause they are so high up:they simply could not be reched easily.
The 13th century wooden 'keystones' from the roof were also saved. They are now displayed on the left of the altar: wonderful 'primitive' carvings, well worth seeking out.
You'll have to walk to the rear of the church tower to properly view this piece of art.
It is very strange: three female faces gazing heavenwards with enigmatic smiles playing about their lips.
I rather liked it, although it somehow didn't seem to 'fit' when viewed with the Medieval church behind it.
The artist, Charles Delporte, lives in Damme (I believe he has a small 'museum' there).
You can't go into the Medieval (1464) Stadhuis (town hall) on the main square in Damme (apart from a month or so in the summer: ask at the Tourist Information office), but you can look at the sculptures and carvings on the outside.
On the right of the entrance steps there is a carving of Charles the Bold (1433-1477), Duke of Burgundy, who is offering a ring to Margaret of York (the next statue). She was his third wife (and his second cousin); they were married in Damme (which is an indication of how important the place was at that time).
Invented and explored since many decades, in the surroundings of Bruges and Damme you will find a lot of windmills. Actually the different states all over the world are looking to explore green energy. You will find them here, in Flanders fields.
The most famous and thus wellknown restaurant in the area of Knokke/Damme is the so called "Siphon". A traditional family restaurant with favourite dish :
- Eel stew
- Eel in natural greens.
Picture 1 : The Siphon bridge
Picture 2 : Pollard willows you will see everywhere
Picture 3 : The Siphon restaurant itself.
Damme is a wonderfull location to wander around, to take/rent a bike and enjoy pure nature.
Take the roads next to the canal, direction Brugge or Knokke. You will enjoy it, your camera will have a lot to fix.
We thought this was something funny: before starting our "ramparts walk" we bought a little artisanal guide at the tourist office (just to be sure we wouldn't miss anything).
One of the "leitmotivs" in this guide was the famous "wallflower", which should grow on the walls of the church.
A hilaric subject, cause we never saw a "wallflower" as a plant.
I am not sure, but as the church is full of these plants, it just has to be this one! An inconspicuous, boring plant indeed :-)
This signposted walk starts at the parking lot "Damme Zuid".
It's a walk on the old ramparts, surrounding the city. Yes, Damme is a city, but whitin Medieval dimensions.
If you like to live this feeling of the past, I'd advice this walk.
"Tijl Uilenspiegel" is a legendary Flemish rascal, a genuine freebooter.
Damme has even a Tijl Uilenspiegel museum.
And there is also a Tijl Uilenspiegel (car)route, signposted by blue hexagonal signs.
This route brings you to picturesque places in the Polders and along the North Sea coast, such as Retranchement, Cadzand at the border with the Netherlands.
A brochure and a map is available at the Tourism Office in Damme
From in the ruin of the Onze Lieve Vrouwe church, there is a little wicket-gate to the churchyard.
These kind of graveyards, around the church are getting rare nowadays, so without causing trouble by making noice, it's wothwile visiting it.
Besides, the view of the church is very beautiful from out of here.
Dont forget to make a trip on board the river barge "Lamme Goedzak". Starting from Noorweegse Kaai.
Bus connection : bus nr. 4 "St.-Jozef-Koolkerke" (boarding point : Markt).
Boat-departures from Bruges : 10 a.m. - 12 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Boat-departures from Damme : 9.15 a.m. - 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - 5.20 p.m.
Daily, from 1st April through September. Group trips off-season : on request.
In July and August: special bus "Bruges-Damme" to landing stage :
from Railway Station : 9.28 - 1.28 a.m. - 1.31 - 2.31 - 3.48 - 5.39 p.m.
from Market square : 9.34- 11.34 a.m. - 1.37 - 2.37 - 3.54 - 5.45 p.m.
Info/tickets : Tourist Office, Damme, Markt 1 (City Hall)
I'm looking for any information concerning this sculpture. Picture has been taken behind the church of Damme.
Please send me a mail if you can help me...