Belgian Chapels:
Relics of Door County’s Early Settlements

Experience a Humble Old-World Tradition

The wayside votive chapels of Northeast Wisconsin represent an old-world religious tradition brought to this area in the 1870s. By tradition, most wayside chapels are open to any worshiper at any time, and are slightly removed from the farm itself for privacy and quiet. These chapels are houses of worship and should be treated with reverence and respect by all visitors.

Where to Find Belgian Chapels in Door County

The list below contains Door County's known Belgian chapels and includes the chapel name, owner’s surname, location details, and the level of public access, all courtesy of Peninsula Belgian-American Club of Namur. Access-level abbreviations are as follows:

  • (OP) = Open access to the public; some chapels are closed in winter. 
  • (LP) = Limited public access; contact owner to visit.
  • (PR) = Private access; private property, no access allowed.

Saint Hubert Chapel (Guilette | LP)
200 CTH Y (Saint Francis de Paul Catholic Cemetery; north of Duval)

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel (Baudhuin/Jadin | OP)
9861 Swamp Road (West of CTH C, northwest of Rosiere)

Saint Michael the Archangel Grotto (Englebert-Chisholm | OP)
562 Misere Road (Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery; north of CTH J in Misere)

Saint Odile Chapel (Destree | OP)
9780 Fox Lane (Town of Gardner)

Chapel of the Holy Family (Pierre | OP)
1853 CTH N (South of CTH K; not visible from the road; use driveway)

"Two Hearts" Chapel (Moore | PR)
Pit Road (Northeast of Namur)

St. Francis and St. Mary Grotto (OP)
9716 CTH C (St. Francis Catholic Cemetery; north of Brussels)

Little Chapel of the Sacred Heart (Englebert | OP)
1453 CTH C (Brussels)

Norbertine Chapel (Peninsula Belgian-American Club | LP)
1257 CTH DK (At Peninsula Belgian American Club; Namur)

Saint Roch Chapel (Jadin/Gerondale | LP)
1257 CTH DK (At Peninsula Belgian American Club; Namur)

Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel (Baudhuin | OP)
CTH DK (Near 1298 Pit Road; East of Namur)

Our Lady of the Snows Chapel (Englebert | LP)
1003 Pleasant Ridge Road at Creek Road (Southwest of Namur)

Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel (LaCrosse | OP)
9415 CTH D (West of Misere Road; north of Misere; enter through garage)

Saint Ghislain Chapel (Flemal | OP)
562 Misere Road (Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery; north of CTH J; Misere)

Historical Context

Early Belgian immigrants settled in southern Door County and brought with them their culture and customs. Mostly devout Roman Catholics, the settlers made their homes in a wilderness where crude roads and few churches made it difficult to assemble and practice their faith. To compensate, many people built small family chapels, often to give thanks for prayers answered or to honor a special saint. At first glance, these sacred places may be mistaken for a simple garden shed or privy, were it not for the small cross hung above the door or on the roof.

Materials & Design

While the chapels in Belgium were often of stone or brick masonry, the northeast Wisconsin chapels are sometimes wood framed. Each chapel has a small altar on the wall opposite the door, which is lovingly decorated with flowers, candles, religious pictures, and statues. Sometimes, personal items are hung on the walls, including photographs, marriage certificates, baptismal certificate, and other religious emblems and artifacts. If the chapel is dedicated to a saint, the name of the saint may appear on a small sign above the door.