Locals about Park Abbey: Sylvan
Mercy Sylvan Nafulah (26) discovered the abbey thanks to her boyfriend Marcel, who planned their romantic first date there. It was perfect. “We always go back because when we’re here, we really make time for each other,” Sylvan says happily.
An overview of 2018
Between all annual reviews, we'd also like to look back at what happened on the abbey site. View or relive some memorable moments and browse our timeline, which provides an overview of 2018.
Visitors about Park Abbey: Raj
Raj is a walker; that much is clear. He wears sturdy shoes and a windproof, rain-repellent jacket. Already in his sixties, he’s bravely out and about, despite the grey weather. “Retiring has a huge advantage: I now have so much time to walk!”
Abbey news: Peace Carillon to play every Wednesday
On Sunday, 11 November, we officially inaugurated the new Peace Carillon. The joint peace project by Leuven and Neuss drew hundreds of people to the abbey, despite the rainy weather. There’s good news for these folks: as of 14 November, you can listen to the Peace Carillon every Wednesday.
Abbey news: New exposition in PARCUM
On November 8th, PARCUM, the museum for religion, art and culture in Park Abbey, reopens its doors with the exhibition Religion - Healing - Dividing. The expo explores the dual meaning of religion in war and peace.
Locals about Park Abbey: Eline
Eline (31) likes to spend her free time taking walks. “I regularly go to Park Abbey because it’s so beautiful there. While I’m walking there, I like to reminisce about my grandparents, who brought me to the abbey site when I was young,” she says.
Abbey news: Yoga sound bath
In September, the abbey stood tall and proud, serving as the backdrop for an outdoor yoga sound bath. Yoga teacher Erica Lutes guided students through a series of peaceful poses, enhanced by soothing sounds, and aided by deep reflection. "We wanted to bring yoga to this beautiful landscape."
A tourist about Park Abbey: Nelly
Bulgarian tourist Aneliya visited the abbey site together with a friend who lives here in Belgium. She was deeply impressed. “This place has a soul. It’s like the abbey is wrapped in mysticism and silence.”
A musician about Park Abbey: carillonneur Luc
The new Peace carillon will resound from the tower of the abbey church on November 11. This is a unique event because it's the very first reconstruction of a historic carillon. "Thanks to a sequence of lucky coincidences", tells carillonneur Luc Rombouts.
A chairman about Park Abbey: Johny
The KWB Park Heverlee, left of St Mary's Gate, stands for social commitment. “We organise numerous activities, including the Park Festivities, brunches, excursions, etc. The goal is to bring people together”, explains chairman Johny Behets.
Abbey news: Outdoor yoga
On July 21st, people arrived at Park Abbey for a special outdoor yoga class. The abbey was peaceful as ever and there was an immediate sense of serenity as you strolled into the central courtyard. A nice break from this summer’s extreme heat, thanks to Meagan Klein of Mula Yoga!
The volunteers who are unlocking the abbey’s archives
The Park Abbey has a rich past. The thousands of books and notebooks in the archive are the silent witnesses to that. On a voluntary basis, local residents are ensuring that this wealth of information is being made accessible. “We’re still learning more and more every day”, is what you hear from Christine, Kristiaan en Leo.
Locals about Park Abbey: Charlotte
Charlotte (22) and her dog Spike take walks through Park Abbey every day. “We enjoy the birds, the peace, the ponds… There is always something to see – I come home with a new story every day.”
Locals about Park Abbey: Jogchum
Birdwatcher Jogchum (41) often takes his children to Park Abbey. “There are so many great species there: water rails, Cetti’s warblers, kingfishers, snipes, all kinds of shorebirds, grey herons, great egrets, and more. My sons are seeing these animals for the first time and their enthusiasm is infectious.”
Locals about Park Abbey: Paul
Paul De Grauwe, professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, has been visiting Park Abbey for years. “It’s an important place, both religiously and culturally. I’ve passed by there many times during my career, but now I go there more than ever.”
Visitors about Park Abbey: Karen
Karen often takes a stack of books with her to the Park Abbey. “I thinks it’s the idyllic place to devour a book. It is absolutely silent, letting you get fully immersed in the story.”
Visitors about the abbey: Jana
When she was a student, Jana, 25, was introduced to the Abbey by her boyfriend. Park Abbey is where Jana goes to find peace and quiet. “It’s close to the city, yet the city feels very far away. Here you can forget the pressures of daily life for a little while.”
Locals about Park Abbey: Sarah
Sarah, 25, thinks Park Abbey is a fantastic place to spend time. She not only comes here to jog with her boyfriend, but also to simply relax. “If you visit the abbey often enough, you’ll see that the seasons are clearly defined here!”
Abbey news: croaking frogs
The water frogs at pond 4, which borders on the Norbertijnenweg, are giving it their all. We headed on over and recorded the impressive sounds.
Locals about Park Abbey: Sofie
Sofie and her family live close to the Abdij van Park. “We’re really city people, but very much enjoy wandering around the Abbey. We particularly enjoy the peace and quiet and historic feel.”
Visitors about the abbey: Chantale
Amateur photographer Chantale (48) comes to the Abbey site. “The way the light falls on the Park Abbey is particularly beautiful. When you go for a walk there, you constantly have something different in your line of view.”
Locals about the abbey: City bee-keeper Staf
Staf Kamers installed his first hives at the abbey's tithe barn in the 1980s. Now there is a beautiful, modern bee shed with 15 to 20 hives. “Park Abbey is a fantastic biotope for bees”, says the city bee-keeper.
Resident of the abbey: Father Filip
Filip Noël, a monk and financial administrator at Abdij van Park, still lives together with four Norbertine monks at the abbey. “If we weren’t here, it would just be an old abbey.”
Locals about Park Abbey: Sven
Cyclist Sven often passes through Park Abbey. “There is nothing that gets on your nerves at the abbey: no traffic, no ugly buildings along the road… Being there makes me feel truly happy.”
Visitors about Park Abbey: Manuel & Leilani
Manuel, 29, from the Netherlands visited Park Abbey together with his girlfriend, Leilani, 25. “We fully enjoyed the ambiance of the Abbey. There’s nothing like it in Amsterdam.”
Locals about Park Abbey: Asli
Asli is a fervent visitor of parks all over the world. The Park Abbey has a special place in her heart. “You can admire the beauty of nature at the abbey. I love the historic, mystical atmosphere that surrounds the abbey.”
Locals about Park Abbey: Mano
Mano Jai (23) got to know the abbey as a student. “In my third year I chanced upon the abbey. Suddenly I was surrounded by green splendour! I am a nature lover and fell in love instantly.”
Locals about Park Abbey: Raf
Raf (42) regularly runs around Park Abbey. In September he even did that every day for the #3030 challenge. But Raf enjoys the beautiful natural splendour on and around the site even more. “It is a unique area.”