Saint Clemens Church Klemskerke

This three-aisled hall church with an octagonal west tower dates back to a 13th-14th-century church building with a nave, transept with a crossing tower, and choir section. The northern side choir (13th century), the southern side choir, and the lower part of the tower (14th century) have been preserved. Due to destruction during the last quarter of the 16th and first quarter of the 17th centuries, it was decided to demolish the western part of the nave, which now allows the crossing tower to serve as a facade tower. In 1717, a small porch was added to the crossing tower. The tower spire caused a lot of headaches for the people of Klemskerke. It was destroyed by lightning three times in total (1696, 1715, and 1770). After the third fire, the people of Klemskerke did not want to rebuild the tower anymore, but they were obliged to do so by the authorities, as the tower spire served as a landmark for sailors to avoid sandbanks.

The church is surrounded by a walled cemetery lined with hedges, pollarded willows, and a continuous brick pavement. The entire site is classified as a historical monument.

The interior was extensively restored under the direction of architect Ammery between 1890 and 1895. From that period, the neo-Gothic elements include the Stations of the Cross on the high altar, the side altars, and the pulpit. The 17th-century paintings, confessionals, churchwarden benches, and polychrome sculptures have been preserved. The Van Peteghem organ dates back to 1832. In 1902-1903, an exterior restoration was carried out, during which the rose window was installed above the western portal.

During excavations in the latest restoration works in 2010, numerous artifacts were found, including pottery shards and coins dating from the 12th to the 17th century. Twelve burial vaults were uncovered, along with two coffin burials and seven human skeletons. It was decided not to make the burial vaults visible. The discovered tombstones in polished blue limestone were hung in the porch. Some of these artifacts are displayed in showcases at the rear of the church.