I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to climb the tower of Serooskerke.
It's not very tall, only about 28 meter.
93 stone steps wind up to the top floor.
From there you can overlook most of Serooskerke. On the picture are clearly visible the swimming pool "Goudvijver" and behind that Park Welgelegen.
Unfortunately the tower is not open for tourism; but you have a good chance on the annual "Serooskerke Day" and a little one if you visit the church on a sundays and ask politely.
***for more about this BIG adventure inside the tower -please visit the travelogue***
If you are really lucky you may be able to attend an open air service in the yard of the Calvinist Church!
Lucky, because it happens maybe just once or twice a year, and of course only when the weather is reasonably nice.
I was that lucky. It's fenomenal to hear EMM performing in front of the chuch. It reminds me of the twenties, when EMM had its own very covered stage in the yard, where they regularly performed. Unfortunately it has been removed due to lack of maintanence.
check out the announcements
If you look well, you may see a tower and church next to the Coinsqaure.
2 sandstone lions on pillars protect the entrance of the church.
These date back from early 18th century and hold the oldest arms of Serooskerke: a shield with a church surrounded by 3 roses.
However, it was not the official arms of Serooskerke but just one from one of the Lords in the region. They reputedly chose for this very arms because of the roses on the shields, which goes well with "roos" in seROOSkerke.
In 1816 the familyarms of Philibert Van Tuyll - was chosen for the design of the official arms of the new municipality of Serooskerke
The Coinsqaure also serves as a memorial for war victimes.
Every year, National Remembrance Day (4th of may) in Serooskerke starts on the Coinsquare, with the laying of wreaths.
Wreaths are laid by several people representing church, village council, municipality and so on, too many I would say, but ok, otherwise it is finished so soon, even by schoolchildren!
Various speeches are delivered. I vaguely remember part of a poem made and performed by a schoolkid (translated):
Freedom is for everyone
A child, in war, all alone
No, that's not freedom for everyone...
Freedom is for everyone
There's is no freedom
When a child is abused
And neither if it lives on a rubbish-dump
Freedom is for everyone
Children under 16 should not work
Because that doesn't make you wise
So every child has the right of education
Freedom is for everyone
Freedom is being happy
Not being abused
And no war anymore...
(last two phrases unknown because a car passed by)
what do we commemorate?
Since the end of the Second World War, the Dutch have observed 4 May as a day of reflection, a day to honour the victims of war. At eight o'clock in the evening the country unites in commemorating the civilians and members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the Second World War. Unlike most countries, the Netherlands does not mark the occasion with large military parades. People all over the country gather at war memorials in their own communities, and at the stroke of eight the entire country observes a two-minute silence.
Remembrance Day is a tribute to all Dutch victims of war. Special honour is paid to civilians and to members of the armed forces who fell in the Second World War, and to all Dutch nationals who have lost their lives since, in other wars or in peacekeeping operations.
...And if it is not enough yet, you even will discover a THIRD circle, and you might wonder what it means.
Well...this circle represents the youngest of the coins. It was dated "1647".
This coin was of extra importance in the process of tracing back the date the treasure had been hidden.
It shows the Bourgondian Cross probably originating from the reign of Philips IV (1621-1665).
designer was Mr. Koole
If you observe the square closely, you will notice another great pattern.
This circle in the picture represents the oldest of the coins. It was dated "1561".
It shows the Bourgondian Cross originating from the reign of Philips II (1555-1598).
Designer was Mr. Koole
In June 1979, during demolition works, 853 silver coins from the 16th/17th century, worth about EUR 13000, were found here. The stunning paving on the square still symbolizes this discovery.
The circle on the photo represents a coin with the weapon of Zeeland, struck in the 16th and 17th century.
Designer was Mr. Koole.
....The oldest known arms of Serooskerke shows a church, surrounded by roses.
Between 1567 and 1648 Van Tuyll van Serooskerken became Lord. After the French domination (1816), it was their arms that modelled for the new arms of Serooskerke (you can see it on the opening photo).
The Calvinist Church was built in the 15th century. In 1958 the church was renovated and in 1966 the tower as well. Much of the interior of the church dates back to the 17th century, including a tombstone of Lord Phillibert van Tuyll van Serooskerken and his beautiful wife.
In 1966 more than a 1000 golden coins from the 16th & 17th century were found. They were auctioned for more than EURO 340.000,--. The proceeds were used for a swimming pool and a medical centre.
In 1979, during demolition of Hotel The Lindeboom on this very Coin square, another 800 silver coins from the same period were found. The circles on the Square symbolize the discovery of the treasure.
if you look across the street, you will see the arms of Serooskerke printed in the wall of the former shop of Bram Melse, as in the picture.
I spent A LOT of time translating this important text from the remote info booth, so please if it's not too much trouble to you rate this tip 5 STAR!!
In my opinion the tip (and also the previous) is VERY HELPFUL because now you don't need to travel all the way to Serooskerke to read the info and moreover it's extremely accurate since many, yes MANY knowledgable people studied on this text (except maybe for the supposed beauty of Lord Phillibert van Tuyll van Serooskerken's wife!).
Next to the chat house you'll find a stand providing a summary and some nice illustrations of the major events in the long history of Serooskerke. As I suppose not everyone will be able to visit Serooskerke during their lives, I have ve tried to translate a bit. No thanks :-).
Excavations from the Iron Age prove that the Serooskerke region already was inhabited around 500BC. In 1196 the village was known as Alartskerke. From the 13th century on 15 Lords governed the region.
... continued in the next tip
It would be very strange not to start at the Coinsquare, next to the Tower. Here, you may rest a while and park your rented bicycles.
The Chathouse De Lindeboom on the Coinsquare should be top listed on every itinerary when planning a trip to Serooskerke.
This delicate little building, built in 2001, is a halting place where residents may (and do!) gossip and visitors may rest in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
The chat house is named after Serooskerke's last hotel that has been demolished here in 1979. In that era the village elders used to meet for a daily chat in a small waiting room at the bus stop on the main street, but since that has been removed, the old men became "homeless".
Serooskerke is a little known village on the former Isle of Walcheren in South Eastern Netherlands.
Up to now, no one of the 400000+ Virtual Touirst members took the effort to write tips on Serooskerke. Also, the major Guidebooks on The Netherlands and Western Europe generally neglect the village.
That's why I decided to build this page. However it became quite a mess after adding dozens of tips that cannot easily be organised in the format VT offers.
But...I start reorganizing now and I thought the most useful way to edit this page was to describe and illustrate a walking tour, that not only includes all major highlights of Serooskerke, but also numerous places of interest that would never reveal themselves to a casual traveller.
In the following Must See Activities tips I will kick off the tour in Serooskerke Centre, at the Coinsquare...
This pretty church has been build in 1953 by contractor S.A. Versluijs.
The Reformed and Calvinistic churches work together as from the year of 2002.
The Reformed church is now called "Peter's Church" and is serviced every two weeks.
The other sundays service is in the Calvinistic church -these days called "John's Church".
In 2003 this church celebrated its 50th anniversary in a great way. Its choir is famed for its amazingly precise voices, so if you're around it is worth checking if they accidentely have a performance.
The church yard is worth a visit, if it just was to see the ancient church and the tower from all sides.
The people of Serooskerke used to be buried here (or inside the church if you were extremely rich), but in 1874 it was full and a new cemetery was appointed, just outside the village.
Tombs were very rare at the time. In the churchyard there's only one tomb.
If the gate is closed you may step over the low stone fence, but don't be surprised if the caretaker send you away when he notices!
Some of these beautiful trees have been poisoned recently. Let's our hearts be with them and pray that they survive and may live in peace forever
Park Welgelegen is one of the natural wonders of Serooskerke and is considered among the highlights of the region. It used to be the private garden of "Villa Vrederust", but recently the park became public property and opened in 1989 for everyone.
The Park - no less than 7 acres big - has at least 70 species of tree and bush and a big carp pond that attracts sensational bird life. Angling on small scale is allowed and very popular. If it freezes enough in winter, this pond is very nice for ice-skating.
Moreover, during recent research by Mrs. N. Ton-Baan, 28 species of mushroom has been counted including an extremely rare species called "violet wasviltje". But you probably need to visit in autumn to determine these. Anyway, they are very important for the unique ecosystem in the park.
Within the park, you can admire the monumental Villa Welgelegen and the Coach House, and however these are restricted area's, they contribute largely to the splendour of the whole area.
admission is free
The brilliant idea came from the Village Council, that wanted to grace it's 10 years anniversary with the re-establishment of an old tradition by giving the residents of Serooskerke their new chat house !
But it wasn't that easy. It took the persistent Councillors 3 years to convince Government to approve the plan and to take part in the cost of around EUR 18.000. Eventually construction started in March 2001, with help of numerous volunteers and sponsors and local women who even served coffee; opening ceremony took place on 24th August 2001.
Admission is free. Dogs are permitted.
The fine design is by Mr. Abraham S. Louws.