Warhem, Village Patrimoine (Heritage Village)

The village of Warhem is located in the scarce woodland of Blootland (naked land) in Flanders Maritime, between Bergues and Hondschoote, southeast of Dunkirk. The town has 2135 inhabitants since January 1, 2014. It is crossed from west to east by the Glaises canal and the Basse-Colme canal. The soil slopes down from southwest to northeast from 22 m of elevation near West-Cappel to 0 m in the Petites Moeres.

Part of the village of Warhem (The Petites Moëres) is located in an area that was the subject of extensive land reclamation works at the beginning of the 17th century, by Wenceslas COBERGHER (1557-1634). The latter undertook the drying up and drainage of these marshy areas, creating a circular dike of 32 km. Mills collected water from these marshes and sent it to channels flowing towards the sea, via the “ringsloot” (ring of water). Even today, the Basse-Colme and the Glaines Canals collect drainage water and discharge it (by pumping or gravity) towards the Bergues Canal. Water, therefore, has an important role for the municipality.

The presence of a high rate of sand in the soil gives this particular colour to the ground. This significant presence of sand is noticeable in the construction materials of buildings: here, the bricks are yellow or "sand". This plays on the general atmosphere of the village.

The church of Our Lady of Assumption is one of the buildings built with this type of brick. Listed as a historic monument since 2006, this hallekerke (hall church) has furniture of high value.

Warhem, a calm and flowery village where it is good to live, owes a lot to the dynamism of its inhabitants, its associations and its economic actors (craftsmen, traders, farmers). We can notably mention the first producer of flax seed of Europe.

Since 1987, the town improves the memory of Jan DEQUIDT, with the giant "Jan Patate": this gardener received seed potatoes from his cousin established in Holland and thus, introduced the potato in Flanders in 1722, well before PARMENTIER (1737-1813). The annual production of this tuber, in the municipality, varies from 18 000t to 20 000t depending on the year.

The 1.5 km circuit will make you discover:

  • City Hall - Public Schools
  • The birthplace of Paul VERSCHAVE,
  • The old hospice,
  • The old foundry,
  • The Our Lady school and the presbytery,
  • J.P CATRY space,
  • The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

Follow the path from the town hall parking lot to discover Warhem.

Do not hesitate to visit the six other “Village Patrimoine” (heritage villages) present on our territory, or those of our neighbour’s territory in Inland Flanders.

Leaflets are available for each of these little hiking trails.