Kapel in ‘t Zand

So, in my previous post, I mentioned that a walk out Kapellarlaan to the Kapel in ‘t Zand as an essential Roermond activity, but realized that I never blogged about it.

Firstly, Kapellarlaan is an incredible walk. A quiet, tree-lined avenue with some of the most incredible homes in the city.

It’s a beautiful walk, and then you get to a little neighborhood at the foot of a small cathedral.

Beyond and behind the church is a little grove/park-like thing with the twelve stations of the cross.

And just up the street to the left is Roermond’s oldest cemetery, with a very famous grave; the “graf met de handjes“. It’s been written about in all kinds of off-beat publications, like Unusual Places, Atlas Obscura, Neatorama, and Boing Boing.

The cemetery itself is really lovely, and it’s interesting to see how it remains sectioned off for different people and groups of people: Jewish graves in one section, behind a wall; all the nuns from a specific convent in another; and so on.

There is a small area for British and Canadian soldiers who died in Roermond in WWII: from the dates on the headstones, it looks like they were shot down in two specific battles, since they died on the same dates.

Apparently just the week before I was there, they had a small ceremony to honor these men again, with bagpipes and everything, which is why the flowers are so fresh.

I know not everyone visits cemeteries as reliably as I do, but this is a nice one, and it’s a fascinating piece of local history. It’s a lovely way to spend a few hours in Roermond.


all photos are my own, creative commons license please

3 thoughts on “Kapel in ‘t Zand”

  1. Again you found a historical, cultural and religious part of Roermond.

    The name of the lane is “Kapellerlaan” meaning the lane to the chapel. Kapel (Dutch) means Chapel (English).

    Yes, it is a beautiful lane with many beautfiul houses.
    My mother was born and raised there, went to school, but also experienced WWII there.

    The “Kapel in ‘t Zand” means Chapel in the Sand” because when the original chapel was build it was outside city walls.
    The Kapel in ‘t Zand is a pilgrimage chapel with a tradition that goes back to 1535.
    In 1895-1896 a new chapel was built.
    There is a whole story attached to the origin and the pilgrimage.
    During the summer the Chapel is open for public in the afternoon (few hours). It is really worth a visit.

    The cemetary you visited is called locally “De aaje Kirkhaof”. (The Old Cemetary) It seams to be one of the oldest in the Netherlands.

    You mention the Common Wealth War Graves on the cemetary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for these great comments; it’s not always easy to find this kind of information in English, and I love knowing more about Roermond. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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