Near Hasselt, you find the Abbey of Herkenrode, an impressive domain with over 800 years of history. You can walk, cycle and discover the heritage here, visit the experience center, the herbal garden and the water mill. Enjoy the works of art, exhibited in open air or have a drink in The Horse Stables. Activities for young and old are listed in the calendar (Dutch). You can also rent this unique place as a venue for events.
Impressive abbey with over 800 years of history
1217 AD: the young Abbey of Herkenrode is enlisted as the first women's abbey in the Order of Cistercians. Over the years it grows into a large and rich site that attracts many pilgrims with prestigious religious artifacts. In its golden period, the 16th century, the sisters purchase a whole range of religious works of art: stained-glass windows, paintings, majolica tiles etc.
Self-reliance is an important theme for them. Herkenrode is a sort of a mini town with its own water mill, brewery, bakery, tannery and work shops. In 1796 the story comes to an abrupt end: French revolutionaries chase the sisters out of their home. The abbey is dismantled and the site falls into a state of decay while being used for agriculture and industry. Nowadays the future of Herkenrode Abbey is guaranteed as an impressive place where tourism, cultural history, nature and spirituality merge together.