Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Excursions on a Sunday

I set off a bit earlier than usual this morning to take B out for lunch; she does love the occasional chicken curry sandwich, eaten at a picnic bench in the park. Meandering back through the streets of the town where she lives I was astonished to come across a ruined church which I had never seen before, and we stopped to explore it. She was in an unusually good mood, which was very nice to see:

It's not clear in the last one, but she is actually jumping with joy. I did wonder if B was fascinated, as people like her often are, by the peculiar and slightly pleasing geometry of the ruined buildings.

The church turns out to have a rather sad history. It was at the centre of the old béguinage / begijnhof of the town, but most of the historic buildings were flattened in an Allied bombing raid in 1944 (I checked the official records of the RAF's 537 Squadron, and all that is noted is that the raid, whose target was an airfield some distance away, was considered successful) and the church itself, parts of which dated from 1250 was then burnt out in a fire in the mid-1970s. The ruins were restored as a public park in 1997.

The rest of us went out for a different excursion in the afternoon. Our province is holding a 'hidden heritage' day today and F, given the catalogue to browse from, chose a windmill near Aarschot as a thing he would like to see. (Most of the other options were churches.) I'm very pleased with this first picture taken from the carpark:

but it doesn't quite capture the impressive speed with which the sails were turning. The effects on my family's hair are more visible here:

Inside we were able to see the machinery, the huge wheels spinning with fearsome momentum:

and the corn disappearing down to be ground by the millstones:

The mill was actually built in 1667 in Mechelen, and then moved to its current base near Aarschot in 1833. So it has been in its second location slightly longer than in its first location, 178 years rather than 166.

Good choice, F!
Tags: life: family, world: belgium

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