Sint Truiden invites kids and adults to try the indoor ice rink until 7 January, Source: Sint Truiden Municipality

Belgian town turns church into indoor ice rink

Belgian town turns church into indoor ice rink

The 18th-century Minderbroeders Baroque Christian temple has been decommissioned for religious services

When the winter air bites too strong, and it makes it harder to spend time outside, yet you still want to enjoy some ice skating then what do you do? Well, according to the Belgian town of Sint Truiden, you move the rink inside a church and carry on with the fun.

The Minderbroeders church in the Flemish town dates back to the 1730s and features a Baroque gabled roof façade and interior typical for that age. It is 74 metres long and made of brick. However, with a decree of the Bishop of Hasselt, it was repurposed for non-profane use and given to the town council in 2019.

Now, the altar is silent, and no mass is celebrated there, but you can skate to it past a pretty Nativity scene and make rounds in the interior of the temple while enjoying Christmas music and the images of a starry night projected on the ceiling.

Repurposed church – still a community hub

In a way, you could say that the church still serves its original purpose of gathering people from the community together to celebrate the joy of Christmas albeit in a slightly different spirit.

The organisers behind the project are also proud to point out that the whole setup is eco-friendly and carbon-neutral. The ice-skating rink reportedly makes no use of water or electricity to operate, which makes it a rare example of this type of facility.

Philip Bronckaerts, chairman of the Sint Truiden trade association, emphasized the church’s role in fostering community engagement, as reported by BNN. The ice rink and the Christmas market, running until 7 January, epitomize the holiday spirit and provide a platform for the community to come together and share in the season's joy with a twist.



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