Saint Gertrude's Abbey Church

Leuven, Belgium

Saint Gertrude's was an Augustine abbey, limited to 12 canons of noble descent. The church was built from the 14th to the 16th century. The tower has an openwork spire, dating from 1453. Inside is an 18th century carillon.

The abbey was closed in 1796 (during French occupation) and the buildings got other uses. In 1919 it became a Benedictine abbey. Reconstructions were carried out after the fire during World War II. The abbey grounds (compound outside the church) at present has mixed uses, and is like a little pleasant park to hang out or have a quiet rest.

During the second world war, the church (as many others in Leuven) was seriously damaged. The artistic choir stalls seemed beyond repair. Fortunately photographs existed. After the war, the stalls were recreated by sculptors, who did an excellent job. The choir with its many wooden sculptures is now one of Leuven's most outstanding works of art. One can distinguish between original parts and later parts by judging the colors of the wood, the older parts being darker.

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Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

More Information

www.discoverleuven.com

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Juraj Mieres (4 years ago)
Who is looking for a english speaking comunity in Belgium is on the right place. The church of St. Kvintin is museum of classical art and place of worship...
Robert Idewa (4 years ago)
Such a wonderful community
Kuangjen Wang (5 years ago)
Beautiful structures
Gloria Frost (5 years ago)
Beautiful church with a very vibrant and friendly community.
Nissy Nevil (5 years ago)
Beautiful church with mass at 6:00 pm on Weekdays and mass at 9.00 am on Sunday.
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Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.

In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.

In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.