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Leuven, Belgium

Organisation: PARCUM vzw

In 2021 the Park Abbey fathers celebrate the 900th anniversary of their order: the Norbertines. The highlight of the planned celebrations is a major international exhibition about the life and work of the order.
Norbert was born in around 1080 in Gennep, a town that is nowadays in the Netherlands, near to the German border. As the second son of the Count of Gennep, Norbert was destined for a fine career in the service of the Holy Roman Empire. But fate decided otherwise.
One day, when he was out riding, a flash of lighting made his horse rear. Norbert was thrown to the ground. It was a moment of great impact, in every sense. On regaining consciousness, Norbert vowed to live a simple life of poverty. He renounced his wealth and privilege and became a poor itinerant preacher. Gradually, the thought of founding his own religious order grew in him. Norbert requested and received papal permission to do this and on Christmas Night, 1121, in Prémontré, northern France, Norbert and his followers founded the first Premonstratensian abbey: the Norbertine Order had been born.
Throughout the twelfth century, the Norbertine Order expanded considerably, especially in the Low Countries. Several other abbeys were founded, among them, in 1129, our own Park Abbey. Park Abbey flourished and grew to become an important religious, economic and cultural force in the wider area. During its own almost 900 years of existence, it has had a rich and eventful history.
Divine light(ning). 900 years of the Norbertines examines the order’s many interactions with society and the resulting Norbertine impact. Outstanding masterpieces and hidden gems from Norbertine abbeys still active in Belgium and the Netherlands will be on display. But you will also see pieces that formerly belonged to the order: a Rubens sketch; the Park Abbey Bible from 1148; a beautiful book of maps from Averbode Abbey; the Tsgrooten Antiphonary choir book from 1522; and an enclosed garden that was constructed with great care and devotion by a Norbertine canoness.
Venue: Abdij van Park 7, 3001 Leuven
Telephone: +32 16 40 01 51
Time schedule: 10.00 - 17.30. Monday closed.
Entry fee: EUR 12.00

Brussels, Belgium

Organisation: KBR

Explore the fifteenth century in our region through the images, stories and characters from the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Six centuries ago, Brussels belonged to the rich and powerful Dukes of Burgundy. Skilled politicians and cultured patrons, they established a stirring treasure, a unique and fascinating collection of manuscripts: the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy.
These masterpieces, which have survived the ravages of time and of history, have been looked after for you by KBR. The national library of Belgium opened its vaults to share the highlights of this fantastic collection via its new museum: a unique place that offers you the opportunity to share in Europe’s medieval cultural past, and admire beautiful illuminated manuscripts. The sixteenth-century Chapel of Nassau and the various rooms that surround it form the backdrop to the museum.
Venue: Mont des Arts 28, 1000 Brussels
Telephone: +32 2 519 53 11
Time schedule: Monday - Friday 10.00-16.00
Entry fee: EUR 11.00

(online), London, UK

Organisation: Dept of Digital Humanities - King's College London

The series of 15 digital collages explores overseas sites of the former French penal colonies – known collectively as the bagne – and uses digital photography and collage to offer new ‘ways of seeing’ these rich and varied places.
This work comes out of postdoctoral research carried out as part of ‘Postcards from the bagne: tourism in the shadow of France’s overseas penal history’ (@postcards_bagne), a research project led by Dr Sophie Fuggle (@fuggbug) and funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council.