Aah, the dare of the dialect and the diction. It doesn’t come much better than with our beloved Hrieps (it sounds like it looks), more widely known as Grijpskerke (yep, the ‘G’ is guttural).
It’s a small place, but out here in the depths of Walcheren, it’s the soul that counts. And we are lively souls. Our neighbours, recalling our days as goat-breeders, like to call us the village of goats (‘t geitedurp). In fact, the name derives from ‘garijp’, which meant ‘local land’. Later the detail of a church was added.
The main claim to fame of Grijpskerke is the mansion of Munnikenhof, once owned by Jacob Cats, a renowned Dutch statesman and poet. Founded in the 13th century by the abbots of the Norbertijner Abdij in Middelburg, Jacob Cats purchased the property in the 17th century, writing most of his poems there. He converted part of the grounds into a working farm. These days, it contains holiday homes with a mini-campsite and accommodation for groups.
From the 12th century on, the physical and social heart of the village was the church. The village became a parish in 1190, when its first church, apparently of timber, was devoted to the Holy Mother Mary. The present building was consecrated in the name of the Archangel Michael. Its timbers of beech date from the 14th and 15th centuries.
Another prominent sight, the village windmill the Welvaren, was built in 1801 on a mound, The brick ground-sail became a dwelling in 1982. A new outbuilding and the lack of an upper wind shaft (axle) ended its active lifetime.
Out along the Mariekerkseweg road, you’ll find the Wilhelmina’s Oord farmhouse. Believed to date from the early 16th century, it is certainly one of the oldest farms on Walcheren. The nearby hamlet of Buttinge has a Mediterranean Sea garden, with a rich collection of Southern European trees and plants.
You’ve seen how easy it is to say Hrieps? So now you can come to our annual Hrieps music festival in April. It draws thousands of visitors from far and wide with five massive tents. Catch up on the latest Hrieps events at our Events Calendar.