Monastery Kraainem, Brussels



In Kraainem (Crainhem in French), at the east side of Brussels, you can find the Monastere de la visitation, a monastery for the nuns of the order of St. Benedict. It is built by Dom Bellot from 1928 until 1930. It is one of the few complexes which have been built in one period at a time.

The abbeys at Quarr and Oosterhout for example have been built in three different periods. The monastery has a big garden at the rear side of the complex. The monastery is very low, only two floors in height.





main entrance










The part where the public can sit during services is at the right side of the church. The church has the shape of an L. A small door is the entrance of the chapel. The other parts of the monastery are not open to the public.










The part of the chapel where the nuns sit, is closed for the public by a very beautiful arch, made of brick.


The chapel has a ceiling made of concrete. Without arches to support, this ceiling rests on the wall, on pillars which "grow out of the wall". It was necessary to construct buttresses on the outside of the wall, something Bellot not often designs for his churches.











In 2020, the monastic community vacated and sold the building. The new owner is busy giving the building a suitable destination, with respect for the architecture.



Photo's: A.W.A. Lukassen and A.A. Lukassen, July 2012