Dominicanen- of Predikherenklooster


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. The Dominicans soon outgrew the chapel, prompting the construction of a new church. In 1736, after seven years of building, they inaugurated the church. Later, a religious group purchased the monastery and converted it into a retirement home for men.

French rule

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.

Built 1736
Abandoned 1977
Reconverted 2019
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