The polder village in West Zeelandic Flanders was founded as a settlement around a church in 1669. The hamlet was called 't Kerkje, as it is still known locally.
The first thing you notice when you enter Waterlandkerkje ['t Kerkje] is the statue of a mermaid, Hildegonda. It recalls the legend of a fisherman from Oostburg, who caught a mermaid in his nets and planned to exhibit her at the market in his hometown. A man heard her cry for help, threw the fisherman into the water and freed the mermaid. She then reappeared and predicted that Waterlandkerkje would remain a small village for a long time but would one day flourish. Hildegonda disappeared and was never seen again.
We look forward to seeing you in Waterlandkerkje! 💛