Het Godshuis, Sint-Laureins
This immense building was erected in 1843 by Miss Antonia Van Damme of Sint-Laureins, who used her fortune to build a hospice for elders, a home for orphans and a hospital for the sick. Its purpose was to provide a home for orphans, the elderly, the sick and the disabled. During the Second World War, the building served as a shelter for the villagers, refugees and civilian military. The Almshouse survived both world wars, but by the end of the 19th century the building had completely fallen into ruin. In the meantime it has been partly restored.
This church was founded by Jeronimus Lauwerijn of Bruges. The church was built between 1501 and 1540. It is popularly called the "Cathedral of the North". There is a lot to discover in the church: the high vaults, colonnades and pointed arch windows, through the majestic high altar in black and white marble by Fayd'herbe with a large reredos by De Crayer, .. Further in the church your attention is drawn by the impressive portal and the rood loft with a historic organ of Ledon. In the church there is also a large collection of paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. The church is located on the village square of Watervliet and is listed as a protected monument. In 2008, this village was voted one of the fifteen most beautiful villages in Flanders.
Eekloose watercourse, house "het Rabot" and the border marker
This watercourse is one of the waterways that were dug in the 13th century for peat transport. Originally it ran from Eeklo via Sint-Laureins to the Sint-Kruis and Aardenburg in the Netherlands. Today we only see a part of the watercourse. He is now interrupted by the Leopold Canal. Where there is now boundary marker 341 and the more recent correction post, there used to be a floodgate or rabot. When the Dutch colonel Ledel had to determine the border, he regarded it as a Belgian territory. This explains the straight border with the Netherlands at Sint-Laureins.
Sint-Jan-de-Doperkerk en Palingdorp Sint-Jan-in-Eremo
This picturesque and somewhat lonely single-aisled Sint-Jan-de-Doperkerk has been a protected monument since 1975. The style of the church is rococo and was renovated in 1984. Saint-Jan-Eremo used to be one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the Meetjesland and was it is the tradition to sell sweet cherries on St. John's Day (June 24). This tradition is now continued by the owners of Hoeve Engelendael.
The Creeks area
The Zonnebrug is only 200 meters from the Bentille Creek, where you can fish for pike, eel, perch, rudd, .... The Boerekreek, Meseurekreek, Blokkreek also offer opportunities for fishing. Our guesthouse is located in the middle of the creek area, which is unique in Belgium and the Netherlands. Sometimes the white border posts are the only witnesses to the national borders. The dikes that crisscross it have protected people and animals from the rising waters of the sea for centuries. During WWII the drainage roads of the area were broken by the German troops and in no time 1000 hectares were flooded again. The many bunkers in the landscape and the military cemeteries in the region bear witness to this. The cyclist or walker will discover the memorial sites for local fallen of the First and Second World War, especially at the many bridges over the canal.
Watch the movie of Het Meetjesland '1 day - 4 stories' that highlights some beautiful locations in the Meetjesland!
The Oudemankreek shines at the De Roste Muis café. The Roste Muis is a popular resting place for cyclists and walkers. There is a flat-bottomed boat in the beautiful Oudemanskreek. This catches eel on the creeks. There is still one flat-bottomed boat active on the Meetjesland creeks. Since 2008, the municipality, in collaboration with the Provincial Fisheries Commission and the polder authorities, has been releasing glass eels in the creeks every year. You can also go here for demonstrations of eel catching. You can also venture on the elongated fishing pier and enjoy the breathtaking view of the creek and the nearby picturesque church of Sint-Jan-In-Eremo.In the Oudemanskreek there is also a work of art by sculptor Chris Ferket: When the fox preaches the passion , farmer watches your geese. It is a subtle reference to Elmare, the monastery from the medieval novel "Van den Vos Reynaerde". This monastery is said to have stood somewhere in the polders and was swallowed up by the waxing sea.
At the Oostpolder Creek you'll find on the banks of the creek a quiet place where you can relax here during your cycling or walking. At the same time, you will learn more about eel in the creeks, fish migration and water management in this polder area. You can also visit this place with a guide. The sea is still tangibly present in the creek area. Many of the grasslands are saline and are home to a typical fauna with salt-tolerant plant species such as samphire. Thousands of white-fronted geese and little swans hibernate here. You can find beautiful walks or bike rides in this region at:
The Coast and the North Sea
The Zonnebrug is located a stone's throw from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and is the perfect base for a trip to the Belgian or Dutch coast: Knokke (the Zwin), Cadzand, Groede, .... The Zonnebrug is located near Zeeland, in a region of canals and creeks.
Sluis, Oostburg, Aardenburg, Boekhoute and Waterlandkerkje are nearby and are well worth a visit. You can also take the ferry from Breskens to Vlissingen across the Western Scheldt to visit Middelburg and the Veerse Meer.
Brugge & Gent
Our guesthouse is ideally located to visit the art cities of Bruges and Ghent. In half an hour you can go from the quiet and rural life to a total immersion in the culture of these art cities.
Relax in Sint-Laureins
Want to escape the daily hustle and bustle? The tranquility and splendor of Sint-Laureins will automatically slow you down. Want to spot a marsh harrier or a yellow mercury? Would you like to have a nice picnic along the water? To fish for eel? The Zonnebrug offers a range of possibilities in a relaxing nature! Discover the creeks!