The decided eye-catcher, however, must be the Saint Dymphna altarpiece, a Flemish top piece from the beginning of the 16th century that consists of more than 200 oak statues which were originally polychrome, but now only bear the traces of their colourful past. The altarpiece is a rarity, because of its shape, structure and completeness. Crowned by a calvary, it depicts St Dymphna’s life and martyrdom, her veneration on Earth and her entrance into Heaven, each scene on top of a decorated base.
This gothic church was originally built in 1349 as a place of pilgrimage on the spot where, according to legend, the martyr and her confessor Father Gerebernus lay buried. Hence why the saint is omnipresent in its interior. The Infirmary, which offered nine days’ shelter to pilgrims who came for their novena at the church in search of a favour from the saint, is built onto the south side of the robust white-and-brown tower.