Belgian Roadside Chapels

The wayside votive chapels of Northeast Wisconsin are a religious tradition brought from the old world. In the 1850s, Belgian immigrants began settling in northeast Brown, northwest Kewaunee, and southern Door counties, bringing their cherished culture and customs. Mostly devout Roman Catholics, they made their homes in a wilderness where crude roads and few churches made it difficult to assemble and practice their faith. To compensate, some settlers continued the Belgian tradition of building a family chapel, often to give thanks for prayers answered or to hone the Blessed Virgin Mary or a special saint.

Download the Belgian Roadside Chapel Pamphlet