Oignies Abbey is a former Augustinian monastery established in 1187. Four brothers from Walcourt settled at Oignies, Three of the brothers, Gilles, Robert and John, were priests, while the fourth, Hugo, was a jeweller and metalworker. Several other men settled with them and they formed the community of St. Nicolas of Oignies, adopting the rule of St. Augustine. In 1192, St Nicolas of Oignies was officially recognized as a priory by the order of the Canons of St. Augustine. Gilles becomes the first prior, a position that he held for 4l years. The community built a church dedicated to St. Nicolas, which was consecrated in 1204. Following major alterations it was reconsecrated in 1226. In circa 1230, Hugo presented to the monastery a manuscript and silver book covers, the book cover depicting Hugo as a layman, and the monastery's patron saint St. Nicolas.
Though the priory remained a community of 12 to 20 men, it eventually became an Augustinian monastery. Between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries there were several fires. The wars in the southern Netherlands also caused destruction. The monastery was suppressed in 1796 and priory's land parcels were sold and became public property. In 1836, the new owner demolished the cloister. A statue of the Virgin from medieval times is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Situated on 3 hectares in a park-like setting, the building is now privately owned and can be rented for events such as seminars, conventions, and weddings.References:
The historic city of Trogir is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo. Since 1997, it has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites for its Venetian architecture.
Trogir has 2300 years of continuous urban tradition. Its culture was created under the influence of the ancient Greeks, and then the Romans, and Venetians. Trogir has a high concentration of palaces, churches, and towers, as well as a fortress on a small island. The orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was embellished by successive rulers with many fine public and domestic buildings and fortifications. Its beautiful Romanesque churches are complemented by the outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period.
Trogir is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic, but in all of Central Europe. Trogir's medieval core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Trogir's grandest building is the church of St. Lawrence, whose main west portal is a masterpiece by Radovan, and the most significant work of the Romanesque-Gothic style in Croatia.