Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Rolduc Abbey in Kerkrade, NL

This is the last of our three Christmas Gifts from our mini-vacation in the south of the Netherlands and Germany the second week in December.  First it was the Christmas market in Maastricht, NL, on Friday, and the next day, Saturday, the Christmas market in Aachen, Germany.

On Sunday we stayed in Kerkrade, NL, where our hotel was, and drove to the nearby Rolduc Abbey from the 12th century.

How's this for believing it's the biggest abbey in the Netherlands!
[Trip Advisor image]

It's now a secondary school, a Roman Catholic seminary, and the Rolduc Congress Center.
It even has a hotel where you can stay.
And this is the entrance to the huge complex, on a snowy day.

Once inside the front gate, time seemed to stand still.

But once inside the abbey, the fun and games began next to where we purchased our tickets.
This was like another Christmas market...except inside.

All along the long hallways were artists selling their wares.
Astrid's DIL happens to collect snails, so we HAD to get her the escarGOOOOOOT.  How clever.

Looking out from inside we saw the snow accumulating in the courtyard.

In fact, after purchasing our tickets, we crossed one of the courtyards....
and bought another gift for friends:  Rolduc Abbey beer, which is brewed on site.

We saw the 18th c. cloisters only from the courtyard, but that still worked a treat.

But back inside, what we most wanted to see was the abbey church.

Throughout the day there were different groups performing musical numbers,
so we returned twice to get some images in between performances.

The first performance we attended was of a flute/recorder ensemble.

It was fabulous!
Astrid and I both played recorders back in the day.  Can you imagine playing there?!

After the children's choir, we had the chance to visit the altar, choir and chancel area,
before it became off limits.
It's a different view looking back across the nave to the organ in the back.

On either side of the chancel, on the main floor, is a side chapel.

A stairway leads down to the crypt from the left chapel.
All of the column capitals have a different design!

And as so often happens, I found the crypt space much cozier for my heart and soul.

But that's because these larger spaces are more like museums to me than churches.
I've learned to accept that after my protestant upbringing.

Before we left we had a sweet little lunch of erwtensoep  (pea soup) and brats....

and a last look at impressions.

Once again, it was enough,  We were filled up.
We had our Christmas market "fix" before leaving for home the next falling snow!


  1. Beautiful. The church has a glow! The music was eerily beautiful in that setting! Another spectacular day!

    1. It was like a fairy tale, Marie, and a good ending to our Christmas "fix." Thank you.

  2. What an absolute treasure, Boots! I love all that blue mixed in with stone. Wow.

    1. It was the perfect ending to our mini-vacation, Ruth. Astrid was the one who organized all of it and ordered it all perfectly. A treasure, indeed!

  3. i yelled 'in my head' lol MONEY CHANGERS!!! at the peeps selling their wares just outside the church lol... but i'm sure the catholic feel differently about such things than Jesus did :P

    thnx for the beautiful close to this year! and i noticed that you even found a weather vane lol...

    1. The entire complex has become quite commercial, Elaine, and is not just associated with the church/abbey anymore. Interesting. In other words, it's not like a "functioning" monastery these days, if that makes sense? But, yes, I get your point, though it didn't really have that feel. It was more of a festive Christmas market inside, near the in Maastricht and in Aachen.

      Of course I had to include the weathervane! :)

  4. It was great to be back here after 46 years. With school we spent a week here as a kind of teambuilding. I still have the giggles when I think of that time, at night we went into the crypt and somebody turned off the light.... pitch dark....
    Now I saw it with different eyes, they renovated a lot of things like in the church. The Rotary of Kerkrade used this place to make it happen that the Christmas-market-experience was there and all profit goes to charity. That snow was there made t even more perfect. What a place to be. Happy memories and fabulous pictures. Thank you as always to keep these memories alive. IHVJ.

    1. I have to giggle also when I think of your story in the crypt. THAT would be a bit scary, bumping into all those columns. HA! The things you remember!

      I'll let Elaine know what you said about the money raised by the Rotary Club to go to charity. It has a different feeling than money changers outside the house of God.

  5. It all looks like great fun. Wonderful photos as always. We have special fondness for the recorder players. That was us once.

    1. Thanks, Ted. For all of us who have played recorders in our lifetime, we could make our own ensemble! :)