Abbey Park

You may recall from a previous post that the abbey which held so much promise was closed on the day that we chose to visit.

Walking towards the buildings, we noticed that everything looked closed, despite the promotional leaflet from the tourist information office and the Abbey Park’s website, saying it should be open! We found that only the museum was open and were informed, ‘You know the Abbey is closed don’t you? There is a guided tour on Sunday afternoon’. We were disappointed to learn this because we were particularly looking forward to seeing the Abbey’s library. However the museum was very interesting, telling the history of the Abbey, the Norbertines and St Norbert.

Abbey Park

Norbertine abbey founded in 1129.

The most completely preserved abbey complex in the Netherlands. The Church of Saint John the Evangelist is also a parish church. It is in fact a Romanesque construction but was converted into Baroque style in the 18th century when it was given a tower. The Romanesque portal in the tower was subsequently exposed.

The monastery buildings of the 16th-17th centuries were built on earlier foundations. Splendid relief work in the refectory and library  (end of 17th century).

Monumental gates of 18th century, including Saint John’s gate and Saint Norbert’s gate.

Monastery barn, farm buildings, Provisor’s house, guest quarters, coach house, water mill, 17th and 18th century.*

Abbey Park

Abbey Park

Abbey Park

Abbey Park
*From a signboard near the entrance to Abbey Park

16 Comments CherryPie on Aug 4th 2015

16 Responses to “Park Abbey”

  1. ubermouth says:

    Just beautiful. I have a thing for churches, as you know. When in Land’s End (one of my favourite places in England), I photographed a church build in 1000 AD that still held regular service. No bigger than an old school house with wooden steps( I believe), I would have loved to have enjoyed a service there.

    The day I was in Salisbury(another fave place), the cathedral was closed due to maintenance, so, as you see, I have similar luck to you! :)

    And when I was at Stonehenge, I was threatened with the police because I hopped the rope to rub the stones,which I reminded them belonged to the people of England.

    I used to laugh when Granddad would say, ‘I don’t know why you want to live in nasty,old Canada when England is the best country in the world’(he had never traveled beyond lol),but now I see his point and jokingly ape his words to Mum now! haha

    Your blog both makes me homesick and brings me comfort. :) Either way, very addictive, Cherie.

  2. ubermouth says:

    * Even though this post is about the Netherlands lol

  3. Ginnie says:

    I was confused by “the Netherlands” too, Cherry, but it’s very true that the northern part of Belgium is Dutch while the southern is more French! So I guess that makes sense. I also see that this abbey is outside of Leuven…another reason to go there!

  4. Astrid says:

    Ha I read the other comments and replies. I know ‘Dutch’ history is confusing… Wonderful post and Ginnie and I are talking about maybe going there between now and October and have it be an overnight….
    Thank you Cherry, for these wonderful posts!!
    If ever you think you go back to Belgium/Netherlands please let us know.

    • CherryPie says:

      I am glad my posts have inspired you to visit. I know the two of you will enjoy your visit :-)

      We were sorry that you were in England when we were in Leuven and we will let you know when we next visit Belgium/Netherlands. It would be lovely to meet up with you in your part of the world :-)

  5. James Higham says:

    Even sadder is how churches are locked and bolted these days when they should be open.

    • CherryPie says:

      In this part of the world most churches are open. This particular church is/was an abbey church so connected to the monks rather than a regular worshiping church for the common person.

      The out of town location of Abbey church means it is not in a suitable location for it to be a church of regular worship. There are many churches in Leuven that are freely open to visit and worship in.

  6. wiggia says:

    Living in “barn country” I am very impressed with that one Cherrie.

    The split in Belgium is quite marked as the Waloons in the French speaking south are treated to jokes as the Irish are here by the Flemish speaking north, they even have their own autonomous regions and governments.

    • CherryPie says:

      I am a fan of ‘old barns’ and I too was quite taken with this one :-)

      On my first visit to Belgium (Bruges) the lovely lady that took us around the local brewery told us in a humorous way about the rivalry between the French and Flemish speaking peoples. She advised that it was far better to speak English rather than French in the Flemish parts of Belgium. To speak French there would be considered rather insulting!

  7. It does look interesting.

  8. Shame it was shut.
    Perhaps another time? ;)

    • CherryPie says:

      Well according to the blurb it was supposed to be open when we visited!! It is not a place that is easy to pop back to without a car.