Maagdendaele Abbey

Strolling further along the Scheldt, we notice a colourful building. The combination of the red limed sandstone facade with white window frames affords the abbey house (1663-1664) an almost playful appearance. The two arched doors with beautiful Baroque frames and sculptures are a delight to the eye. This recent addition forms the entrance to an immense site. The entire complex was founded in 1233 by the Order of the Cistercians and was one of Flanders’ most important women's abbeys. The oldest remnant is the 13th-century abbey church. A fascinating chunk of history. Nowadays, the students of the Royal Academy of Visual Arts walk through the centuries-old corridors and you can browse through old documents in the city archives.