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Herkenrode

The site of the abbey of Herkenrode is located in Hasselt, the capital of the Belgian province of Limburg, near Maastricht. Founded in 1182, in 1217 it became part of the order of Citeaux. It was an abbey for women. It had a lot of possessions and was of great importance to the region, at that time the diocese of Luik. During the French Revolution all church institutions were abolished and in 1797 the abbey was sold. A fire destroyed the church in 1826. The other buildings disappeared. A part of the art treasures could be salvaged. Some can still be admired in Hasselt: the main altar, two memorial stones and a monstrance (1286). Seven stained-glasses (1532-1539) can be seen in the cathedral of Lichfield (UK). In 1972 the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre bought part of the domain. Near the remains of the abbess' quarters of 1538 they built a new cloister with a church in a contemporary style. In the abbess' quarters of 1768 they set up a meditation centre. Have already been restored: the tithe barn (1656) for exhibitions, concerts and events, the gatehouse (1531) for smaller events, conferences, exhibitions and parties, the 18th century gatehouse for the administrative department. The west wing houses a visitor's centre, an exhibition about life in the abbey and an abbey shop.


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