Elst is a small picturesque village in a valley region of the Zwalm. The Church of Saint Apollonia is located on a 96 m tall height. The west tower in the late Gothic style dates from the beginning of the 16th century. Remarkable features include the alternating bands of white sandstone and bricks. The nave was constructed in 1775-1777. During this period, the choir was also redecorated, while at that time the church received its current patron saint. Because in the Middle Ages the church had been consecrated to the Holy Virgin.
The church is primarily in the Classic style. The choir houses a marble floor that is remarkable for its shape of a star in black and white.
The interior, primarily Classical, combines altars from the 17th century (the lateral altars came from the cloister of the Urbanists of Petegem) with panelling from the 18th century, as well as with communion rails, the cathedra, the confessionals and a series of paintings, two of which refer to the martyrdom of the patron saint. Surprising features include the plasters, painted in pastel shades, and the Rococo stuccos.
The organ was produced by the Lovaert company in 1848 and transformed by the Loncke company in 1957.
During the last ten years the parish has added contemporary elements to the interior of the church, among them some paintings, “The Works of Charity” by Pat De Vylder, a statue of the Virgin, a cross and a lectern by Georges Herregods.