St. Andrew's Abbey was a Benedictine abbey which was destroyed in the French Revolution. Its modern successor St. Andrew's Abbey, Zevenkerken, founded in 1899–1900, is a Benedictine abbey of the Congregation of the Annunciation.
The charter of the abbey was signed in 1100 and ratified by Count Robert II of Flanders. The abbey was built on what is now the site of the parish church of St. Andrew and St. Anne. The first monks arrived in 1117. In 1188, the abbey became independent of its mother abbey and a period of prosperity began, which lasted until the fourteenth century. In 1240, after a long dispute between the abbot and the local parish priest, a wall was built in the church to divide it into two. In 1350 the abbey sold a piece of ground right next to the abbey itself on which the charterhouse of Sint-Anna-ter-Woestijne.
The abbey was severely damaged during the second half of the 15th century by German lansquenets. In 1521, Emperor Charles V and his brother Ferdinand visited the monastery and attended vespers, an event which is commemorated by a plaque.
In the 16th century the abbey was badly damaged by the Geuzes and most of the monks fled, leaving a community of four. It was rebuilt in the 17th century, but the constant wars and its location outside the walls of Bruges exposed it to further damage.
The abbey was suppressed and destroyed in 1796 during the French Revolution; only the 16th-century tower remained standing, and is now incorporated into the parish church built subsequently.
In 1898 a monk from Maredsous Abbey founded a new monastic community close to the site of the previous one. A new monastery, St. Andrew's Abbey, Zevenkerken, also Zwvenkerken Abbey, was built in 1899-1900, in Neo-Romanesque-Byzantine style. The abbey church contains seven chapels in various styles, one for each of the seven great basilicas of Rome, whence the name of the new foundation (which means 'seven churches' in Dutch). A school was established here in 1910, the present Zevenkerken Abbey School, a prestigious boardig school and part of St. Andrew's Abbey.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.