Lissewege (Lissewege)

  Picture: the abbey of Ter Doest       

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Church Our Lady Visitation
Ter Doest abbey
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Museum of Saints
De Soete Paepe
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The abbey of Ter Doest

Lissewege posesses one of Flander's most important medieval monuments: the barn of the former abbey of Ter Doest.  The monumental barn is the only remaining relic of the once rich and properous abbey.  Built in the 13th century in bricks and measuring 56 by 21 by 16.50 m, it is the largest and oldest of its kind.  Remarkable are the blind gothic window at the top sides.  The interior consists of three aisles with oak pillars and roofing.  The other buildings on the site are of younger age (from the 17th century on).  Interesting is the sundial on the dovecote (1652).

Brief history The abbey was founded in 1106 by Benedictine monks.  It was taken over by Cisterian monks of the Dunes abbey of Coxyde by 1174.  They reclaimed land from the sea and worked the fertile lands, making it a very properous enterprise for the first 150 years of its existence.  From the 14th century on, profits started to decline, leading to its abolishment 1561 after which the posessions are transferred to the diocese of Bruges.  The religious troubles did not spare Lissewege or the abbey.  Everything but the barn is being destroyed.  As from 1651, the construction of the present-day farm starts.  Many dates on the buildings remind of that period of reconstruction (1651 on the farm, 1652 on the dovecote, 1662 on the entry gate, 1687 on the chapel).  The complex remained a farm until the last century.  Now it houses a restaurant and a hotel.  

Address: Ter Doeststraat 4


Picture 1: inside the old barn
Picture 2: the 17th century farm
Picture 3: the chapel of Ter Doest (1687)
Picture 4: exterior of the medieval barn


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Kristus Koning
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