Scherpenheuvel is a small town in the province of Flemish-Brabant, Belgium. It is known for its religious significance and history, and attracts visitors from all over the world. The town is home to the Basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel, which is an important pilgrimage site for Catholics. The town also has a beautiful city park and a museum that showcases the town’s history.
The Scherpenheuvel Pilgrimage
The Scherpenheuvel pilgrimage has a long tradition that dates back to the 17th century. It is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to a shepherd boy on the hill where the Basilica now stands. The boy found a small statue of the Virgin Mary, which was later enshrined in the church. Since then, pilgrims have traveled to Scherpenheuvel to venerate the statue and ask for healing and blessings.
Despite the downfall of religion and Christianity in Belgium, Scherpenheuvel is still a popular pilgrimage in Belgium. Visitors from all ages come from far to and with various reason to this pilgrimage. For most people who grew up in the area and went to a catholic school, it was a tradition to go on a Pilgrimage to Scherpenheuvel.
Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel
The Basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel is the most important attraction in the town. It is a baroque church that was built in the 17th century and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church is famous for its miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary, which is said to have healing powers.
Visitors can attend mass or simply admire the beauty of the church’s architecture and interior decorations.
The Basilica is surrounded by a heptagonal park featuring the Stations of the Cross. 14 chapels can be found, each resembling the different stages that led to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Burn a candle
Aside of the Basilica there is a dedicated place where Christians burn a candle for good luck and faith. This is a tradition among the locals, specially the older generations.
How to get there
The nearest train station is situated in Diest, from where you can board Bus line 35 to proceed with your travel. Alternatively, you can take the train to Aarschot and then use the same Bus line 35 to reach your destination.
Visitors can park their vehicles at the “Parking Mariahal”. Set your GPS to “Spordel 3, 3270 Scherpenheuvel-Zichem”.