This winter garden (Bosstraat 9, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver) can be visited during the Open Monuments day (2nd Sunday of September) (???). NOTE: we heard in 2009 that it was NOT open then!! If you want to visit with a group, you can make a rendez-vous with the vzw Wintertuin, phone 015 75 77 28 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual visits are possible the 3rd Sunday of the month between 14:30 and 16:30. You pay a small amount...
Text by Eddy Van Leuven (for the Open Monumentsday):
'In 1841 the first Ursulinnuns came from Tildonk to the Street of the Forest in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver. The nuns could have changed the statue and silhouet of the Waver (polpularly correct called Torekenswaver ) profoundly. The unique character of the enormous school- and conventcomplex lies in the remarquable synthesis between so different styles such as the neo-classicism,the neo-gothic,the neo-romanstyle, the empirestiyle and the art nouveau.
In 1900 the institute built a beautiful wintergarden in art nouveau. You wouldn't expect Art nouveau in a catholic institue for education and then even in such a little town, this is thus realy exeptional. The “jardin d’hiver” was a dignified reception room for the visitors of the hundereds of the girls of the bording school, from the in- but also often from abroad.The visitor is still charmed by the fine play of light and colour.
Each of the decorative elements of the tunnel vault in leaded windows of the (glass roof) is finished with a stroke of flower- and plantcreepers,with nasturtium as motive, that creep high along the carrying headspans. You can see swallows- the legendary forerunners of the spring and beautiful weather- in the lager middle panels. Swallows are also famous for theyr fidelity to theyr nest whereto they come back every time. This motive leans on to the catchword of the insitute 'on y revient toujours ( one comes always back) .
The graceful worked out half windows have a beautiful symbolism.nThe window at the streetside with the representaion of the rising sun with its ray spreading over a mountainlake and with a grey heron and florishing irises in the front suggests the morning. In the opposite and much darker window suggests the evening . The moon reflects her light in the rippling water of the mountainlake. An owl flies over the landscape,decorated with some waterlilies and irises with closed buds. The dome is in fact in its total a tryptich : morning, day and evening.
The anonymous designer of the wintergarden chose hereby the popular theme of the Beglian art nouveau culture, that was strongly influenced by the Japanese art.
Even the furniture, floors, walls and side galries are part of the sparkling harmony of the wintergarden.
The beautiful neo-gothic church is from the hand of the provincail architect Eduard Careels (1857-1933). The church (strictly taken in fact a chapel but with the style of a large church) was built between 1909 and 1912. The nave of the church is situated at the second floor.Hereunder is a large crypthall that is in use for the school. The interior is partly inspired by the Sint-Gummaruschurch of Lier. You would more likely expect to find an open galery or triforium in a cathedral.
De kerk is door middel vanThe church is connected to the buidingcomplex with galeries and staircase towers.
Other important parts of the patrimony are the Saint-Ursulahall, the Alpeshall, the festival refectory, the stair of honour, the oratorium, the museum, the pianogalery…
The actual parc had its first form in 1864 and was since 1887 systematically enriched with different elements in rockwork, such as the cavern of Lourdes (built by the house Blaton-Aubert from Brussels) an open air christmas stable of Bethlehem with the corresponding little Nazareth-house (brothers Tondeleir from Antwerp), a complete unique, monumental and closed pick-nick hall, anarbour and a calvary. The multiple presence of diverging 'follies' in rockwork makes it today a unique lot.
In the years 1910-1911 Felix Brouwers (Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver)converts the parc into an english garden with a second pond with a rustical little bridge. The wall around the domain, surrounding the parc and little bush, is constructed. '
gerry coe: 'this is the top'