Ten Putte Abbey

Gistel, Belgium

Ten Putte Abbey was founded at some point between 1137 and 1171. The religious wars that erupted in the second half of the 16th century extended destructively into Flanders. On 12 October 1578 the Abbey was attacked by an army of bandits and left in ruins. Only the 14th century tower was left standing. The nuns abandoned the undefended site, ending up in Bruges. The abbey church in Gistel was reconstructed in 1614/15 and became a pilgrimage destination, particularly popular in July when St Godelina's Day is celebrated. Nevertheless, the rest of the site remained in ruins till long after the end of the Eighty Years' War. It continued to be the property of the nuns, now safely in Bruges, till shortly after the outbreak, in 1789, of the French Revolution.

In 1889 what remained of the chapel and its estate was sold to the polymath architect Jean-Baptiste Bethune. After a break of 313 years, nuns now returned to there. In 1891 bishop consecrated a rebuilt monastery, in the neo-Gothic style, using plans drawn up by Bethune. Of the old ruins, only the shell of the old 14th century tower was left.

Further extensive building development was undertaken between 1952 and 1958 under the direction of the architect Arthur De Geyter. In 2007 Benedictine nuns were replaced by brothers and sisters from the 'Mother of Peace' community. This is a recent order, established in 1992 by Bernard Debeuf and in 1998 recognized by the Bishop of Bruges. The order's spirituality is Marian-Christian and their habits are blue.



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Abdijstraat 86, Gistel, Belgium
See all sites in Gistel


Founded: 12th century/1891
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

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