Dominicanen- of Predikherenklooster
THE ABANDONED MONASTERY IN BELGIUM
The ‘Predikherenklooster’ also named ‘Dominicanenklooster’ is an old monastery and church in Mechelen. The site was built in 1736 by the Dominican Order. In Dutch, Dominicans are also called ‘Orde der Predikheren’. Hence the name given to the building. Today the monastery is a modern library.
The Dominican Order is a Catholic religious order, created by Saint Dominic in the early 13th century. This religious group came to Mechelen in 1651 and in 1652 they obtained permission to establish a monastery with a small chapel. Eventually the monastery and chapel were ready in 1689. Soon the chapel became too small for the Dominicans and a new church was built. The church was inaugurated in 1736 after seven years of building. The monastery was later sold to a religious group that used the monastery as a retirement home for men.
In 1796 the French occupiers take the buildings and used them as a training site, a military hospital and military arsenal. The tower of the church was demolished during those years. Finally in 1814, the Allies drove out Napoleon and ended French rule.
Barracks General Delobbe
The monastery keeps its military use until 1977. It first remained a military hospital, the marble floor was broken up and the doors removed. Until the army left the buildings in 1975 it was named ‘Barracks General Delobbe’. In 1977 the monastery was sold to the city of Mechelen. I took these photos of the ‘Dominicanen- of Predikherenklooster’ in 2007.Today the old monastery houses the City Library. For more abandoned places in Mechelen, check this link.