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:
- This year will see the completion of the south wing. There is still work to be done on the interior, and decorative paintwork is also planned. The intention is to complete everything this year to enable the jubilee anniversary of the Norbertines to be celebrated in 2021. Next year, the Order will namely celebrate the 900th anniversary of its founding!
- Het provisorenhuis en het gastenkwartier kregen het afgelopen anderhalf jaar een grondige make-over:
- Braxatorium Parcensis recently moved into in the guest quarter. The Friends of the Abbey will have their own room directly opposite. In addition to this, several offices here will be occupied by the start of summer.
- Now that the façades are almost completely restored, we will also get to work on the inside of the procurator’s house. The work will be completed in the autumn. The Fathers will then temporarily move into the procurator’s house. In 2025, offices and office space will once again return to the former residence of the procurator.
- Once the procurator’s house has been completed, the Fathers will move into this wing. This means that the restoration work on the east wing, north wing and infirmary can start in 2021. The east wing is expected to be ready in five years’ time. Student housing for seminarians will be built in the infirmary.
- The most visible works, on the Tienden barn, the stables and the dairy, are still in progress:
- The Tithe Barn has also been under construction for several months. It will be given a use that is in keeping with its ancient function. The barn will serve as a covered indoor area and will also hold the Abbey shop. The work is planned for spring 2021.
- The cows of BoerEnCompagnie will be housed in the adjacent sheds. An outside stable will also be built for them.
- The milking parlour will be a dairy factory for fresh milk and cheese, produced by BoerEnCompagnie.
- The first floor of the stables and the dairy are reserved for the farmers, who grow vegetables & organic produce, as well as the educational do-it-yourself farm. Vzw Landwijzer will also train new organic farmers in the same classrooms.
- It took a while, but the Parkweg bridge will be ready before summer. It connects the Philips site with the agricultural area around Park Abbey. We will also plant extra trees there in spring to give the cows more shade in hot summer weather.
- In time, we will also improve the footpath in the nature reserve on the other side of the ponds. At present, the surface is marred by many protruding roots. We will be levelling various footpaths, taking care not to disturb the green surroundings.
Since 2012, many buildings on the abbey site have been restored, including the watermill, the coach house, the guest house, the west wing, the St Mary’s Gate and the St Norbert's Gate. Although several parts of the abbey are for the time being not yet accessible to the public, they will be in 2021.
This will, however, mean another year of waiting impatiently before you can visit the refectory and the library to admire the impressive stucco ceilings created by Jan Christian Hansche...