Europa 1900
OLV Waver
ou may have remarked that OLV-Waver is not exactly on the same scale as the other cities covered on this site. A good number of you probably simply said, huh? Where the heck is OLV-Waver? The simple answer is that OLV-Waver is a Belgian village roughly 10 km east of Mechelen, a town containing a lovely gothic cathedral and situated along the main highway between Bruxelles and Antwerp. If it sounds difficult to get to, you’re not imagining things. Access is via an infrequent bus from the Mechelen rail station or else by car.

he AN answer is that OLV-Waver is the site of one of the most divine AN creations, the Wintertuin (winter garden) of the Sint Ursula Instituut convent and school. It is almost never open to public visits, except on occasional open houses and group visits. If you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort to visit, let me assure you that it is. You should contact the good Ursuline sisters by telephone or fax to find out about open dates. If you don’t speak Flemish, some of the sisters speak French as well.

he wintertuin is just one room in the Ursuline complex, initiated in 1840 and gradually expanding to fulfill its function as a convent and normal school. The identity of the architect of the wintertuin in 1903-1904 has since been lost to the passage of time, but its magnificent stained glass dome remains as a testament to the dazzling beauty of AN. All of the fixtures and furnishings of the wintertuin are original and in superb condition since the beginning of the century. The other rooms of the Institute were created in different periods of time and are not in art nouveau style, but well worth seeing nonetheless.