Waterlandkerkje is one of Zeeland-Flanders’ small villages. It is absolutely full-to-bursting with village life and has loads of cultural activities besides, making it a popular place for visitors and locals alike.
The village of Waterlandkerkje started out as a settlement in 1669, wrapped around the church, fondly known as ‘t Kerkje (wee church). Locals still use that name today.
The village crest depicts a mermaid (‘meerminne’), to commemorate the local lore of a mermaid who was caught in the nets of an Oostburg fisherman. She was his only catch of the day, and he planned to show her off in the market for money. A ferryman from Waterlandkerkje threw the fisherman into the water instead, though, setting the mermaid free. Hildegonda, as the mermaid was called, then prophesized that the Waterlandkerkje would always be a place of unison and prosperity, even thought its size would remain diminutive.
The village Redouteplein square is home to a ‘Tiendepaal’, one of the poles formerly marking the boundaries between various nearby abbeys in the 13th century.
Opposite the village church, you’ll find a statue of the Reverend John Steuerbadt. He was killed in 1668, as punishment for daring to preach in a Catholic area. The retired vicar-turned-sculptor Omer Gielliet – a regional celebrity in the area – made the statue.
Waterlandkerkje is well known for its many church concerts, and for the Meerminnefeesten festival, always on the weekend after Pentecost. The three-day extravaganza includes a jumble sale, tractor race and masses of music. Find out what’s on in and around Waterlandkerkje on our events calendar.
The Hildegonda-Ommetje (a short wander) is a local walk past viewpoints and interesting sights in the polders around Waterlandkerkje. You can buy the route at one of our VVV-Inspiration points or order it from our web store.