Reading Between the Lines

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A church in Borgloon with a difference: not so much history, but a spectacle of modern art.

It’s inevitable that when you travel around Europe, you’ll end up visiting a lot of churches, but don’t worry, none of them are quite like this. The church, Doorkijkkerk, was designed by Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh and built in 2011. Despite being made with 30 tonnes of steel, this architectural delight exists harmoniously within the rolling hills of Borgloon.

Doorkijkkerk is constructed from 100 stacked layers of weathered steel plates with gaps between them which you can see through, making the church aptly named. Every angle gives you a different perspective of the church, seemingly dissolving into the landscape in one moment and merging into a solid building in the next. You can speculate about the meaning of this piece of modern art, but its architects will give you no answers, declaring only that: “the space between the form leaves room for interpretation”.

Part of a project that aimed to bring art into the public space, it is in fact located in the middle of a pear farm and it’s a bit out of the way, making it more of a hidden gem!

  • If the architecture isn’t enough of a pull for you, then the church can easily be included as a stop on a walk or bike ride through Borgloon’s lush, hilly surroundings.
  • Even if modern art is your thing you won’t be spending much more than an hour here, so include Doorkijkkerk as a part of a larger day trip in Limburg.
  • The church’s design makes it great for photography - especially at sunset!
  • The scenery is particularly spectacular in Spring when the orchards are flowering.

Walking Routes

Beginning in the centre of Borgloon, there are 5 Greenspot Grootloon loops to choose from. Long or short, they all take you up to the church and showcase the Haspengouw landscape - so expect a few hills!

  • Green route (4.4km)
  • Blue route (6.1km)
  • Orange route (8.8km)
  • Yellow route (12.6km)
Updated on 21 December 2021

Tips and Tricks

  • The church's location is not well served by public transport, your best bet is going by foot, bike or car.
  • Situated half-way between Sint-Truiden and Tongeren, the church is roughly a 20-minute drive from both cities.

Getting There

  • By Car: close to small parking spaces along the N79 near the church. Once parked, you’ll need to cross the N79, follow a lane and then a footpath up a hill until you see the church. Look out for signs to “Doorkijkkerk”!

Route details

Starting point: Starting Point: Markt, 3840 Borgloon, Belgium

  • No GPX files available. Pay 2.50€ to download a hiking map from the local tourism office here



All seasons




Open; national COVID rules apply

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