In 1236 the Trappistine Brecht monastery of Our Lady of Nazareth at Lier (Duchy of Brabant) was accepted into the Cistercian Order. Blessed Beatrice of Nazareth (1200-1268) was its first prioress.

For five centuries the abbey flourished, until 1797, when it was closed in the aftermath of the French Revolution, when the French Revolutionary Army occupied the Austrian Netherlands. The abbey did not recover from the closure even after the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium gained independence from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In the early 20th century several attempts were made to re-establish the abbey at different locations. During World War II in 1943, Henri van Ostayen was in favor of locating the new abbey in Brecht, of which he was burgomaster, but was killed in Antwerp by a V-1 flying bomb before the end of the war. His proposal was however taken up by Dom Robertus (Edward Jozef Modest) Eyckmans, Abbot of the nearby Trappist Westmalle Abbey. He was able to obtain the agreement of Soleilmont Abbey to provide the 12 nuns necessary to settle a new foundation. On 12 October 1945 the organization for founding a new abbey was established, and in 1946 about 16 hectares of land were acquired in Brecht for the new building, as the old site in Lier was no longer available. The monks of Westmalle Abbey prepared the site of the nuns' monastery, which was ready by the end of 1949.

Thirteen Trappistine nuns left Soleilmont and headed for Brecht on 23 June 1950: Abbess Agnes Swevers with Sisters Lucia Delaere, Heleen Steylaers, Humbelina Roelandts, Idesbalda van Soest, Lutgard Smeets, Maria Marlier, Petra Belet, Juliana Rutten, Harlindis Gerits, Roberta Koeken, Alberica Hauchecorne, and novice Roza van den Bosch. The monastery was formally opened in 1950, and in 1951 it was raised to the status of an independent abbey. The church was dedicated in 1954.

The nuns in the abbey produce several products under the International Trappist Association seal, such as cosmetics, cleaning products, liturgical objects, as well as hand-crafted banners and flags.

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Abdijlaan 9, Brecht, Belgium
See all sites in Brecht

Details

Founded: 1236
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Paula Coessens (8 months ago)
Good products
Jan Torfs (13 months ago)
Came by by chance but stopped anyway because I liked the building, the architecture and the beautiful garden. I visited the church on a Sunday and after the church services one can also visit the shop. There I bought jam and soap. On a next visit I also try the shampoo or honey. I also liked the candles and greeting cards. This abbey was founded in 1950 and is not open for viewing except for prayer services. I saw along outside the guest rooms that one can book for short or longer periods. Very interesting.
Yves Surmont (19 months ago)
Ok
Fabio Teixeira (19 months ago)
A place to rest and pray.
Justyna Podralska (2 years ago)
A very meditative place! You can stay there for a couple of days. Sisters are friendly and open. But don't forget! It's a silent cloister!
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