April 04, 2015


Zichem, part of the commune Scherpenheuvel-Zichem, is a small village in the plain of the river Demer in Northeast Belgium. There is a lot to discover there, especially for lovers of history, literature and legends.
Zichem is the birthplace of popular author Ernest Claes, 1885-1968, who made his mark with De Witte (1920), a regional story about a playful “white”-haired boy full of mischief. The book was made into a film in 1934 and again in 1980. The statue of Claes and De Witte celebrates the author’s 100th birthday. 
The Maagdentoren (which translates as “Virgin Tower”), a dungeon erected in 1383 and now under restoration, is considered a heritage of exceptional value for the region.
The Saint Eustachian church, 1300 - 1500, is an example of Demer Gothic architecture and a proud witness to Zichem's place in the Middle Ages.
If you are interested in what it takes to maintain and restore buildings made from Diestian sandstone, the typical building stone of the Hageland area that was widely used at the height of its economic and demographic expansion in the 14th to 16th centuries, see: