Averbode Abbey has a rich history which already spans ten centuries. It was founded in 1134 on the initiative of Arnold II, Count of Loon. Its activities soon included agriculture to ensure its sustainability. Over the centuries however, the abbey faced many trials such as looting, fires and the plague. Indeed, in the late 18th century it was even sold and demolished.
From the 19th century onwards the abbey began to flourish once more. Monastic life was resumed and it became the hub of many activities such as missionary work and a publishing house. In the 20th century, the Norbertine monks founded different schools. Today Averbode Abbey faces a bright future with a wide range of products and a brand new experience centre.
The monks at Averbode Abbey belong to the order founded by Saint Norbert. Which is why they are called Norbertines. However, they are also known by several other names. The name Premonstratensians for example refers to Prémontré, the French town where the order was founded in 1121. Their white habit has also earned them the nickname witheren (white men).
Like Jesus, the Norbertines’ aim is to spread the gospel in a way that will allow people to draw courage and confidence from it. At the same time they also wish to live the gospel together, as brothers, in a community that offers prays and services. In their lives they strive for unity between community life, prayer and pastoral commitment. For more information go to the Abdij van Averbode website.
Would you like to visit the abbey? No problem! During the day you are free to visit the abbey courtyard and the abbey church. Every Sunday afternoon between Easter and All Saints there is a tour of the abbey for individual visitors at 3 pm.
Groups can also request an abbey visit at other times of the week. Group visits are allowed, depending on what is possible for the community at that time. Would you like to find out more about group visits, group reflection and our open days? Go to this site!
Averbode Abbey has been the home of the Averbode publishing company for almost a century. In the meantime it has become a market leader for educational magazines in Belgium, both in Dutch and French. The publishing house also has a strong educational fund with learning tools and methods for primary, secondary and adult education. It is also responsible for distributing work by international educational publishers.
For more information go to the site Uitgeverij Averbode.