St Bertinus Church

Located right in the centre, St Bertinus Church is the town's oldest church. Poperinge's main church is dedicated to Saint Bertinus, abbot of the abbey of Saint-Omer in the seventh century. Originally the church was a Romanesque cross church built in 1147, but a fire in 1419 set by a group of supporters of the Duke of Orleans destroyed the building. In 1420, abbot Akkard Trubert commissioned the rebuilding of Saint-Bertinus church, this time in a Gothic style as a Flemish hall church. The portal features the statue of Bertinus and mourning messages, a custom still found in Torhout and Bruges. Especially the artistic carvings in Baroque style bear witness to a skilful chiselling: the rood loft with Christ and the twelve apostles, the monumental pulpit and the confessional. The couleur locale can be found in the hop cones in the rood screen and the hop picking scenes in the modern fire-glass windows. The Paccard carillon was played in 1981 and praised for its purity of sound.

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