Map of medieval monasteries in the Netherlands published

On October 17, 2019 the Vrije Universiteit at Amsterdam, the Netherlands, published The Map of Monasteries. This map shows the monasteries of all orders which have been represented in the present-day Netherlands during the Middle Ages and Early Modern period (until 1800). 

This Map of Monasteries is based on the Census, which has been composed at the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and which contains basic information on all monasteries in the Netherlands until 1800. The Census may be accessed independently, but its records are also accessible via the Map. The map includes the settlements of Cistercians and Knights Templar in the Netherlands.

The first Templar house was founded at Alphen in the southern province of Brabant by the lord of Breda, probably shortly after 1144. It remained a Templar house until the abolition of the Order in 1312. After that it was taken over by the Knights Hospitaller. The last time this house was mentioned was in 1616.

According to the map the first Cistercian settlement was the monastry of Klaarkamp (= Clear field) at Rinsumageest in the northern province of Friesland. This monastery for monks was dedicated to Our Lady. The first efforts of foundation of the Order took place in East-Frisia ca 1155. The settlement of Cistercians in Frisia West-of-Lauwers took place in 1163-65. Monastic life ended here in 1580.

All traces of Templar houses in the Netherlands have been summarized on our own map, which in turn is based on the great work (in Dutch) of late Dr Ben Brus.

Source text and illustration Free University Geoplaza. The illustration shows the site of the Klaarkamp Cistercian monastery in northern Friesland. The archaeological remains are lying directly beneath the surface

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