Border Chapel in the heart of the Schengen area


One leg in Germany (Hommersum) and the other leg in the Netherlands (Ottersum). Border Chapel honours and questions the phenomenon of the unique situation of our European open borders. 

A chapel is an instrument of the illusionary experience. You have something with a Mary Chapel if you believe in Mary.

I and many with me believe in open borders as a political, social achievement and consider our freedom as the greatest asset. Not only our freedom to think and act freely, but also the freedom to move between European countries like here on the meandering border of Ottersum, Gennep (NL)  and Hommersum, Goch (DE).

year: 2021/2022
location: Ottersum, Gennep (NL) / Hommersum, Goch (DE)
orginization: Kappellenbaan
curator: Antoine Achten / Piet de Jonge
commissioned by: Stichting Cultuur zonder Grenzen
supported by: Mondriaan Fonds, Provincie Limburg, Kunstloc Brabant, Gemeente Gennep

manufacturing: Koos Schaart Adventures, Velp + Frank Havermans
install: Koos Schaart, Frank Havermans, Elejan van der Velde
paint shop: Evers Straal en Spuitbedrijf, Ederveen
technical drawings: Denis Bacal, Den Haag


Carelessly walking back and forth across the Dutch-German border as a form of ultimate cooperation and trust in the Schengen area of the European Union is a vulnarable achievement.

In the heart of the Schengen area the Border Chapel honours this phenonmenon.

The shape is based on an old hardstone boundary post in the area. Two viewing tubes extend the direction of the invisible boundary marked by boundary post 560A and 560B between which Border Chapel is located. Post 560B is nearby.



The Border Chapel is a mirror-symmetrical semi-open projection space held up by four legs. It rests on two long griders. These beams primarily serve to create sufficient bearing capacity at ground level and at the same time function as seats where people can take place to think about freedom, to meet, talk, rest, contemplate or make notes.

One leg is located in the Netherlands and the other one in Germany. The chapel is exactly placed on the longitudinal direction midway across the border. The legs hold up a projection mini dome with a cut-away dotted line, like used on maps, to mark the border.

Looking up you see the border in light falling inwards through the dotted line. If the sun is shining a dotted line appears in light projected on the RAL colour Madonna Blue interior and on the ground. The boundary line – normally a fixed fact – is moving slowly due the sunlight.

You can let the boundary light fall on your hand but you can’t grab it nor let the border light disappear under your shoe. An almost imperceptible phenomenon is thus rendered in an intangible way concrete.


a happy stone was already hidden in the Border Chapel, great start


 a gaze through the viewing tube, an extension of the invisible blorder line, photo Monique Camps 

Grenspaal NL D_edited-1

the shape of the chapel is based on an old hardstone boundary post in the area


grenspaal / border post 2, location Grensweg

Grenspaal NL D_edited-1

grenspaal / border post

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