Are you looking for a peaceful and historical destination to visit? Look no further than Averbode Abbey, a hidden gem located in the picturesque countryside of Belgium. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Averbode Abbey, from its rich history to the activities and attractions that make it worth visiting.
- Can visitors attend religious services at Averbode Abbey?
- What is the Norbertine order?
- What is the significance of the Norbertine order in Belgium?
History of Averbode Abbey
Averbode Abbey has a long and storied history, dating back to its origins in the 12th century. It was founded in 1134 on the initiative of Arnold II, Count of Loon. Soon, agriculture was practiced, which ensured the abbey’s livelihood. However, throughout the centuries, the abbey faced many trials such as plundering, fires, and the plague. In the late 18th century, it was even sold and demolished.
From the 19th century onwards, the abbey began to recover. Monastic life was resumed, and the abbey became the center of many activities such as missionary work and a publishing house. In the 20th century, the Norbertines founded several schools. Today, the Abbey of Averbode looks forward with a versatile product basket and a brand new experience center.
Currently, there are 55 Norbertines in the abbey community, out of which 30 reside in the abbey. The abbey gained fame as a publisher of children’s books during the 20th century. Additionally, the production of beer, bread, and cheese has been a longstanding tradition in the abbey.
Visit Averbode Abbey
The inner courtyard and a part of the abbey church are freely accessible to visitors during the day. At the experience center “Het Moment“, visitors can request a tour that focuses mainly on the abbey’s products, economic activities, the farm, and the abbey cafe with microbrewery.
At the abbey cafe itself, visitors are welcomed to taste the locally produced beer, cheese and bread. These products, and many more can also be bought at the Abbey’s shop.
Right outside the abbey there’s a big lane where you’ll find several ice-cream vendors, if the weather is great. The ice-cream that’s being sold here is considered to be the best in the wide area.
Averbode is also a great destination for hiking and cycling. The nearby nature domain “Averbode Bos & Heide” contains dense forests and beautiful heathlands.
Location of Averbode Abbey
The Abbey is located in Averbode, in the municipality Scherpenheuvel-Zichem which is a Belgian pilgrimage destination. The Abbey of Tongerlo is also located close nearby.
Averbode Abbey is easily accessible by car. When traveling by train, the nearest trainstations are located in Diest and Aarschot. Bus line 36 connects both trainstations and stops at Averbode Abbey.
Averbode Abbey: A Place of Spiritual Significance
The Averbode Abbey is not just a historical site; it’s also a place of great spiritual significance. The Norbertine order that founded the abbey is dedicated to the worship of God and the service of others, and this ethos is still evident in the community that calls the abbey home today.
Can visitors attend religious services at Averbode Abbey?
Yes, visitors are welcome to attend religious services at the abbey. The abbey’s church holds daily Mass and other religious services, and visitors are welcome to participate.
What is the Norbertine order?
The Norbertine order is a Catholic religious order founded by St. Norbert of Xanten in the 12th century. The order is dedicated to a life of prayer, community, and service to others, and operates abbeys and monasteries around the world.
What is the significance of the Norbertine order in Belgium?
The Norbertine order played a significant role in the religious and cultural history of Belgium, particularly in the Middle Ages. The order founded many abbeys and monasteries throughout the country, including the Averbode Abbey, and was instrumental in spreading Christianity throughout the region.
Exploring the Surrounding Area
The Averbode Abbey is located in the beautiful “Kempen” region of Belgium, and there are plenty of other attractions to see in the area. Here are some of the best places to visit near the abbey:
Scherpenheuvel is a Belgium Pelgrimage destination, located at 7km from Averbode Abbey
Tongerlo Abbey: Another historic abbey, located at 11km from Averbode Abbey.
Diest is a beautiful small town, located at 10km from Averbode Abbey.
Averbode Abbey is a historical gem in Belgium that is well worth a visit. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or religion, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this fascinating site. With its stunning Gothic church, peaceful cloister, and rich history, the Averbode Abbey is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.