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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Address

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

Tom De Ridder (5 months ago)
Beautiful quiet place. A stay of several days in the guest house is highly recommended.
Marc Huygen (8 months ago)
The good old life, fair craft products
Diana Schouwenaar (12 months ago)
Was pleasantly surprised about the various products that the Trappist sisters offer. And the enthusiasm they exude in this regard.
Danny 48 (17 months ago)
Great good products. Fair prices. We are going back!
Paula Coessens (18 months ago)
Good products
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