St Hermes' Crypt
City Tour "Our Freedom" for individual visitors
Would you like to visit the crypt and basilica during de restoration? No problem! Visit Ronse offers a guided City Tour: ‘Onze Vrijheid’.
- Opening hours: see here.
- Tickets are available on the day itself at the tourism office.
- Reservations are recommended through Visit Ronse
- Starting and finishing point: Hoge Mote, De Biesestraat 2
- Maximum 20 people per guided tour
- Partially accessible for people with reduced mobility
- This tour is offered in Dutch only
- Price: € 5 p.p. (free for residents of Ronse)
Groups can book their own guide for the City Tour "Our Freedom": more info
Discover: St Hermes' Crypt
On 2 February 2019, the collegiate church was elevated to the status of ‘Minor Basilica’ or ‘smaller basilica’, an honorary title for a Roman Catholic church building with a special significance: the presence of relics of St Hermes (since 6 July 860) and the Fiertelommegang (Fiertel Procession) that has been held here since 1090, a procession with the relics throughout the city.
The monumental Romanesque crypt (1089) is without a doubt the architectural jewel in the city. The essential elements, such as the hidden burial chamber, the water well and the baths for the mentally ill are still visible. In the crypt, a pilgrim could pray for healing with the intercession of St Hermes.
Since 2020, there has been considerable activity in and around the basilica. The entire site has undergone a serious makeover, and the last phase of the restoration will begin in 2023. During the works, a part of St Hermes’ Basilica will remain open to visitors. Stop and admire the shrine holding the relics of the patron saint, Hermes, in the southern St Hermes chapel next to the high altar. Above the reliquary is a life-sized equestrian statue of St Hermes. The most remarkable feature is the wooden plank with hooks. You can see it if you stand with your back to the reliquary. People suffering from mental illness were attached to it overnight, after bathing in the crypt, in the presence of the reliquary of St Hermes.
The basilica’s St Colette chapel was the original entrance to the crypt. In future, individual visitors will be able to discover the crypt and the basilica on their own thanks to the new scenography and digital applications.