Tongerlo Travel Guide

  • visiting the abbey by bike
    visiting the abbey by bike
    by filipdebont
  • Tiend shed
    Tiend shed
    by filipdebont
  • Madonna surrounded by Ivy
    Madonna surrounded by Ivy
    by filipdebont

Tongerlo Things to Do

  • The abbot's house

    The abbot's house is a nice little palace built in 1728, designed by an architect Kerrickx. Back then to lead a life of poverty apparently wasn't one of the vows an abbot had to make.

  • The bishop's house

    The bishop's house? In an abbey? Yes, that's a bit strange considering the fact that an abbey is an autonomous community that doesn't belong to a diocese. But in 1559 the abbey became, under protest, temporarily part of the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch, and the bishop was installed as the abbot of Tongerlo. Anyway, this nice mixed Gothic and...

  • The church

    The church is a neo-Gothic building from 1852-1858, designed by architect P. Stoop. It replaced a Gothic church that was destroyed by the French in the late 19th century. It has a facade of natural stone while the rest is made of brick. The interior is overwhelmingly white.

  • The gate

    The gate was built in different periods. The lower part, with the "stripes", is in Romanesque style and dates from the 14th century. The upper part, with stepped gables, is Gothic and is from the 16th century.

  • Exposition

    Nowadays the Tiend-shed is used as a permanent exposition Hall.Inside you can see a wall filled with pictures of the Norbertines who live (and lived in this Abbey. You can also see a scaled model of the Abbey. (Picture of this model in a previous tip).You also can see an original clock made by the famous Clock builder Zimmer (Lier), well know for...

  • Former Workshops

    The workshops date from the 17th century.There is a small water tower which provides the Abbey with water.There was a wood shop, and in these buildings the famous and delicious Abbey beer was made.On the picture you can see one of the Norbertines (dressed in white), which still live in the Abbey.

  • Madonna Statue

    The wall near the entrance of the shed (1618) is almost completely covered with ivy. And in the middle of this green wall, you can see a beautiful Madonna statue.So at the east house front, you can see a beautiful white Madonna, made in Avesnes stone. It dates from 1422.

  • Wooden Roof construction

    The Tiend-shed or Boerenkrijg-shed (war of the farmers) was built in 1618.This shed is built in a brick and sand stone style. It was restored in 1993 - 94.Nowadays it is used as a permanent exposition hall.There is no entrance fee. If you enter, do not forget to look up, like this you can see the beautifully constructed wooden roof.

  • Tiend - Shed

    Almost in the middle of the courtyard, you can see a small shed, the Tiend-shed. This shed is built in 1618 (under Abbot A. Stalpaerts (1608 - 29). It was used as a grain shed.This shed is also named the Boerenkrijgschuur (the farmer's war shed) as this shed was used by the Brigands for secrets meetings during the uprising against the French in...

  • Church of Our Lady

    The Church of the Abbey of Tongerlo is built in 1851 - 1858 and is designed by the Antwerp architect Paul Stoop.It is built in a neo-gothic style. The tower is 75 m height, and was rebuilt in 1929 by architect Lamy, after a fire.When I visited the Abbey of Tongerlo, there was a eucharisty going on, so it was impossible to visit the church.As one...

  • Bishop's House

    Next to the Abbots House you can see the Bishop's House.It was built by Rombout Keldermans in 1547 in a Flemish Renaissance style.They used Brabant bricks to build it and the building has a nice small tower.It was the lodging place for the bishops of 's-Hertogenbos.Nowadays it is used as guesthouse.

  • Blazon at the Abbots House

    The abbots House was built in 1725 and is made of Gobertange stones.It was Abbot J. van der Achten who gave the order to build this beautiful building.In the triangle fronton you can see a blazon. It is the blazon and the slogan of Abbot J. van der Achten.This prelate building can not be visited. My guide book tells that it contains beautiful...

  • Abbots House

    The first building you see on the right hand side is the Abbots House. It dates from 1724.It is built in a classical baroque style and is designed by Willem Ignatius Kerrickx.Via the entrance gate of the Abbots House you can go to the Abbots garden and the Da Vinci Museum. In this museum you can see and old replica of a wall painting, The Last Meal...

  • Big Courtyard

    Once you have passed the entrance gate, you have a great overview over the big courtyard.Starting on the right you see the Abbots house with the Abbot's garden and the Da Vinci museum. Next to the abbot’s house, you see the Bishops house, then the Abbey Church. Central you see the Tiend-shed, also named the Boerenkrijg-shed (battle of the farmers),...

  • The outside of the abbey

    The Abbey also looked beautiful from the outside. With the canal that surrounds the abbey and the verges covered with colourful flowers.The Norbertines are followers of Norbertus van Gennep, better known as Sint-Norbertus. He founded the Order of Prémontré in France in 1121. This Abbey of Our Lady, is founded in 1130 - 33 by the Order of Prémontré,...


Tongerlo Transportation

  • filipdebont's Profile Photo

    by filipdebont Updated Feb 12, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When the weather is good, the best way to visit a region is by bike.

    Of course it is a bit of a disadvantage that on this race bike, I am wearing special shoes with a click-system. And because of this click-system it is not so easy to walk.

    But whenever you see something interesting along the road, it is very easy to stop and you have no parking problems.

    My Bike
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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Tongerlo Shopping

  • What about the beer?

    As I said, the Tongerlo beer is not made in the abbey. It's a product of the Haacht brewery that uses a recipe that blongs to the abbey. You can buy the beer at the abbey to support it, but it's for sale in beershops in much, if not all, of Belgium. To be frank I can't say what the beers taste like, it's too long ago, but I do know I liked them.

  • Abbey Book Shop

    The old Coach House dates from the 17th century, and is completely restored and used since 1999 as a bookshop.De Oude Linden (name of the shop) is now the Abbey book shop and the Centre for priesthood and liturgy. Books for Children and Adults (fiction, non-fiction, art, culture, history, comics, travel, . . )Religious books (Bibles for children...

  • The Abbey Shop

    The Abbey farm in the Abbey of Tongerlo dates from 1640 (under Abbot D. Verbraeken). The former sheep-shed and the cow stables are now used as the abbey shop. They named it - De Oude Hoeve - (the old farm). It was used as a farm till 1974; nowadays it is a shop and a bakery. In this Abbey shop you can buy different Abbey prodducts like Abbey...


Tongerlo Favorites

  • Tongerlo Abbey beer

    My favourite thing about Tongerlo . . . . . without doubt : the delicious Abbey beer.This beer is one of the real Belgium Abbey beers. For many years this beer was brewed here in the Abbey of Tongerlo.But since a few years, this Abbey beer is brewed in the breweries of Haacht.This is the brewery of the Primus beer.You can buy this beer in the Abbey...

  • Along beautiful roads

    Because of the weather I decided to do the 110 km roundtrip.This 110 km trip passed via the Abbeys of Tongerlo and Averbode.Journey:- Start in Heppen (near Leopoldsburg)- Oostham (3 km)- Winkelomheide (28 km)- Abbey of Tongerlo (40 km)- Zammel (44 km)- Abbey of Averbode (52 km)- Testelt (57 km)- Zichem (59 km)- Diest (80 km)- Engsbergen (87 km)-...

  • Enter with respect, or do not enter at...

    This is not a museum. It's not a tourist spot in the first place either. This is a Norbertine abbey and has been for almost nine centuries. It's inhabited by Norbertine priests, dressed in white and living a life of faith, labour, poverty and quiet. You're welcome as long as you respect this way of life. I'm sure you can figure out what that means,...


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Explore Deeper into Tongerlo
Niches with Holy Figures
Things to Do
Entrance gate
Things to Do
De Oude Linden
De Oude Hoeve
Map of Tongerlo

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