In the spotlight
The latest news
The Abbey brewery: a dream come true
Our Abbey brewery has been open for over six months now. Which means it’s the perfect time for a chat with the brewery’s driving force Joris Brams, who encouraged our priests to brew beer on the abbey site again...
More news and stories about Park Abbey
Looking ahead to 2020
2020 will be the ninth year of the large-scale restoration that is being carried out on Park Abbey. The works continue unabated. These are the steps we will be taking this year...
Rik Torfs, once living in Park Abbey
We save treasures in the Park Abbey archive. One of these is a manuscript of the doctoral dissertation written by Professor Henri M.D.A.L. Torfs… better known as Rik. How did it get there?
From granary to Immovable Heritage Award
The Norbertuspoort, which connects the abbey with the agricultural area, has won the audience prize of the fourth edition of the Immovable Heritage Award. A granary in a past life, the Norbertuspoort currently houses the Alamire Foundation’s ‘Library of Voices’.
Our prior wrote a PhD
On 2 September, all eyes were on an unusual PhD candidate in the Promotion Hall of KU Leuven. Jozef (Jef) Van Osta, prior of Park Abbey, defended his thesis there on the history of organ building in Averbode Abbey. His thesis is 570 pages thick!
Meet Brecht, farmer at Park Abbey
Brecht Goussey (46) is one of the three farmers who run small-scale organic farms on the Abbey site. Brecht and his colleagues founded 'De BoerEnCompagnie' in 2017. “I always wanted to be a farmer when I was little."
Church in Need: the first partner organization
Even before the restoration, 'Church In Need' came to Park Abbey. "We have upgraded the Wagon House and now help to safeguard the religious character of the abbey," Uma and Marina of the charity organization tell.
Croaking frogs in the ponds
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. Listen to Kermit & his friends...
Meet Wilfried, the grandson of the abbey's cook
Wilfried Van de Sande has been coming to Park Abbey since he was little. All thanks to his grandfather, who used to live in the Maria gate. "I even thought of starting a restaurant there once!”
Behind the scenes of the brasserie
Frank Mertens at the ‘De Abdijmolen’ brasserie strings his superlatives together when it comes to the Park Abbey. “No wonder our terrace is always full,” he smiles.
André: the intruder who became organist
André Kockaerts (72) may have spent more time on the Abbey site than anyone else. He is sexton, organist, choir leader, and much more. And he also has the gift of the gab...
Locals about 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: Zeger
Zeger Debyser is the chairman of the non-profit organisation ‘Friends of Park Abbey’. The Friends help to make the heritage accessible, to maintain the gardens, and to support the Abbey’s image. “Together, we make it even more beautiful here.”
A shopkeeper about Park Abbey: Myriam
Myriam runs the Abbey shop. Over the past five years, this has grown from a head of lettuce under an umbrella into a fully fledged organic shop. “I’ve even had someone come in asking to buy consecrated wafers!”
A preview of 2019
2019 marks the eighth year of the major restoration of Park Abbey. The works are very visible on the abbey site. High time for a run-down of which steps will be taken in 2019.
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. “When we’re here, we really make time for each other,” Sylvan says happily.
The archive’s volunteers
On a voluntary basis, local residents are unlocking the archives of Park Abbey. “You need to have a certain passion for old documents, and to sense when you are stumbling onto something valuable. But we form a good team”,
Professor about Park Abbey: Paul
Professor Paul De Grauwe (71) 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.”
Peace Carillon to play every Wednesday
As of 14 November, you can listen to the Peace Carillon every Wednesday. Luc Rombouts, coordinator and driving force behind the new carillon, can call himself the Peace Carillon’s dedicated carillonneur.
Luc brings the carillon back to the abbey
The new Peace carillon will resound from the tower of the abbey church on November 11. One man will glow with pride: university carillonneur Luc Rombouts, who is behind the reconstruction.
New exposition in PARCUM on religion, war and peace
On November 8th, PARCUM, the museum for religion, art and culture in Park Abbey, reopens its doors with the exhibition Religion - Healing - Dividing.
Eline: "It’s so beautiful here"
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.
Raj: "An ideal place to get inspiration"
Raj and his wife discovered the abbey together. "We just ended up here while we were out walking. And I still love to walk as much as I did back then."
Yoga sound bath in Park Abbey
On 29 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.
Birdwatcher about Park Abbey: Jogchum
Birdwatcher Jogchum (41) often takes his children to Abdij van Park. “There are so many great animal species there. My sons are seeing these animals for the first time and their enthusiasm is infectious.”
Outdoor yoga at Park Abbey
It was a cool and cloudy morning July 21st when people arrived for a special outdoor yoga class at Park Abbey. The abbey was peaceful as ever and there was an immediate sense of serenity as you strolled into the central courtyard...
Locals about Park Abbey: Charlotte
Charlotte (22) and her dog Spike take walks through Park Abbey three or four times 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.”
Meet Johny, chairman of the KWB
The KWB Park Heverlee 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.
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."
Locals about Park Abbey: Sarah
Sarah, 25, thinks Park Abbey is a fantastic place to spend time. “If you visit the Abbey often enough, you’ll see that the seasons are clearly defined here!”
Locals about the abbey: Chantale
Amateur photographer Chantale 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 Park Abbey: Karen
Karen often takes a stack of books with her to 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.”
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.”
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.”
City bee-keeper Staf about Park Abbey
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. Staf is re-establishing one of the abbey's original functions.
Pond work nearing completion
After several weeks of mowing and maintenance, the ponds in Park Abbey are once again filled with water. The difference between now and a month ago is enormous!
Locals about Park Abbey: Asli
Asli Tezcan and her family are fervent visitors of parks all over the world. Recenlty, the Park Abbey gained a special place in their heart.
Visitors about Park Abbey: Jana
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.”
Tourists about Park Abbey: Manu and Leilani
Manuel 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: Raf
Raf has lived near the abbey for more than 10 years. He sees the site every day. “It is a beautiful nature reserve close to the city and near my home."