25 May 2014

#SundayTraveler: Tilburg's Hasseltse Kapel

Tilburg is the sixth largest city in the Netherlands, but it doesn't draw many tourists as the travel guidebooks rarely mention anything outside of the area surrounding Amsterdam and The Hague. Since travelers aren't necessarily directed to Tilburg, I thought I would point out some of the great hidden gems that are worth exploring around the city. Recently, a friend of mine (a native of Tilburg with a real appreciation for the city's history), brought me to visit the Hasseltse Kapel - the oldest religious monument in Tilburg, and one that certainly deserves some recognition.

The Hasseltse Kapel was erected approximately in 1536, though the first document to mention the chapel is dated from 1540. Interestingly, the chapel wasn't used for worship between 1648 and 1796 - there were no priests specifically assigned to the chapel and for a time the chapel was used as a regular house, though the clock tower and the building itself were still used for public functions.





As worship services returned in 1796, a wooden Baroque style statue of Mary holding the Christ child was installed in the chapel. Though the years, benefactors of the chapel and donors have left elaborate clothing and jewels on the statue as a sign of their faith and devotion. In 1971 and 1972, the chapel and the statue were restored, fundraising for which was helped in a great part by schoolchildren selling commemorative decorative plates with an image of the chapel.






Today, the chapel holds some religious services and arrangements can be made for Catholic and non-Catholics that wish to hold their wedding and anniversary ceremonies in the chapel. In the month of May the chapel celebrates Mariamaand (Mary's Month) and Catholics make a pilgrimage to the chapel as an act of devotion. The chapel is easy to miss if you're not looking for it - it stands in the middle of a park in a small, quiet neighborhood. But the peace and quiet that surround the chapel and it's unique history make it a wonderful place to visit.



The Hasseltse Kapel (Hasseltplein 40, 5042 AC Tilburg) is open daily from 09:00 to 19:00, unless otherwise scheduled. Visit the website for additional information.

Today's post is part of the #SundayTraveler linkup hosted by Chasing the Donkey and friends. Please be sure to check out the other great blogs!


15 comments:

  1. What a great find, so awesome that you know a local to help show you about. Maybe the two of you could put a little guide book together for this place? Big thanks for linking up with us for #SundayTraveler again.

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  2. Phoebe Thomas25 May, 2014 18:23

    What a pretty little church. It's amazing it's so old, it somehow doesn't look it. #SundayTraveler

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  3. What a beautiful old building.... I like how Mary and Jesus have clothes on. This reminded me of a lot of shrines in Japan that get dressed by the locals too...

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  4. Wow, beautiful :) its always great to discover those sorts of treasures in the places you live, for sure :)

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  5. Thanks! There really are some great finds around, so you may be onto something with the guide book idea. And as always, thanks for hosting!

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  6. It really is amazing. It's hard for me to know how much of what we see is due to the renovation in the 70's and how much of it was various upkeep over the years. But the history of such a little building is amazing to feel!

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  7. That's interesting - I didn't know that there was a tradition like that in Japan. To me it seems pretty interesting to show your devotion through donations like that, but it's certainly wonderful to see!

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  8. Corinne Vail27 May, 2014 09:53

    Love those Dutch brick buildings.

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  9. I completely agree! It makes the smaller cities that much more interesting to visit!

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  10. Thanks for sharing the tips about Tilburg! Haven't heard much about it, you're right. So great to have a local show you less known sites. The Hasseltse Kapel looks interesting, and I like the fact that they hold religious services upon arrangement for all, Catholic and non-Catholics.

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  11. I love finding out about little things like this. There's just so much history in this country!

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  12. I like their inclusiveness, too. I think the local parish recognizes that there is a strong tie to the history of the city for some locals, regardless of faith.

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  13. It really is amazing the things you can find around this country!

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  14. Ashley Hubbard30 May, 2014 18:49

    Really can't wait to go back and explore the Netherlands some more! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler :)

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