Our Monastery Trail: circular tour Heeswijk-Dinther

2 hour (10.4 km)

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This 10.4 km circular walk revolves around the Berne Abbey, both literally and figuratively. Get inspired! While walking, perhaps you would like to contemplate the following question: "How and for whom do you want to be a source of meaning?"

Experience monastic life 
Monastic life has brought much to Brabant. Get to know the stories of local monastic life while walking. Our Monastery Trail takes you past fifty historic monasteries and abbeys in fifteen stages. There are also beautiful shorter walks around various monasteries and convents. Each circular walk is described on a separate route map.

Finding the way with numbered junctions
This walking route has been set out using the numbered junction network in Brabant. Simply follow the route via the signposted junctions, from one number to the next. There are also signposts between the junctions to help you find your way. 

Sights on this route

1

Abbey of Berne

Abdijstraat 49
5473 AD Heeswijk
Abbey of Berne
35 75 31 74
2

Meierij Museum Farm

Meerstraat 28
5473 VX Heeswijk-Dinther
Meierij Museum Farm
60 70
3

Nature Theatre De Kersouwe

Natuurtheater Kersouwe
Kersouwelaan 1
5473 TE Heeswijk-Dinter
Nature Theatre De Kersouwe
91 92 24 23
4

Castle Heeswijk

Kasteel 4
5473 VA Heeswijk Dinther
Castle Heeswijk
Castle Heeswijk
21 20 25 30 32
5

Saint Willibrord church

Hoofdstraat 80
5473 AX Heeswijk Dinther
Saint Willibrord church
34
6

Abbey of Berne

Abdijstraat 49
5473 AD Heeswijk
Abbey of Berne

Directions

1

Abbey of Berne

Abdijstraat 49
5473 AD Heeswijk
Abbey of Berne
  • Abbey of Berne
    This abbey was originally founded in the Dutch hamlet of Berne, but due to war and plundering it finally found its home in Heeswijk in 1857. Whereas other monastic communities focus on God in seclusion, the Premonstratensians choose to go out into the world. Their motto is Berna ut lucerna; may Berne spread the light. This open attitude is visible in the abbey complex. No high walls but a driveway and a gate without doors - connected to the world. Vita Mixta, as the Premonstratensians call it. The fact that the Premonstratensians know what is happening in society is shown by a new initiative; the sale of their own abbey beer.
  • Meierij Museum Farm
    This museum farm lets visitors experience how farmers lived and worked in the Brabantse Meierij region between 1900 and 1930. For more information, please visit museumboerderij.nl.
  • Nature Theatre De Kersouwe
    At the end of 1945, 20 ladies and gentlemen, including seven White Canons (Norbertine monks), met in Heeswijk Abbey to establish artist collective Kunstkring Heeswijk. This company was given the name De Kersouwe, the word for daisy in the old regional dialect. In 1946, the collective performed an open-air play. Open-air theatre made it possible to perform in mixed groups; at the time there was a strict bishop's rule that only one mixed club per parish was allowed to play in an auditorium. Mixed performances in the open air were allowed by the bishops if they ended before sunset. The first performances were Biblical plays, mainly played by Heeswijk and Dinther locals. Within three years the biblical plays of De Kersouwe became known nationwide.
    Between 1950 and 1958, De Kersouwe had well-known writer Antoon Coolen as its own playwright. Coolen wrote seven original pieces for De Kersouwe. The biblical plays were replaced by fairy tales and stories about knights and led to sold out theatres. Year after year, Norbertine monk Michiel van Helvert designed a beautiful medieval decor. The theatre is only open for performances. 
  • Heeswijk Castle
    This beautifully restored castle is one of the top-four monuments in North Brabant. Experience a history marked by almost a thousand years of power, pride and culture of the Brabant elite, prominently located in the Aa river valley, close to ’s-Hertogenbosch. The castle is surrounded by Heeswijk Estate, a beautiful natural area. Come and enjoy this impressive monument from Tuesday to Sunday. Restaurant Bij De Barones is located in the castle’s coach house and is a lovely place for a drink or a bite to eat. The outdoor seating area offers a view of the castle garden and the monumental main buildings.
  • Saint Willibrord church
    From the beginning of church life in Heeswijk the Norbertines, also known as Premonstratensians, have played a leading role. Around 1250 Heeswijk already had a church dedicated to Saint Lambert. During the Dutch reformation Catholics were forbidden to practice their religion in public, and so a border chapel in Bedaf, 8 km away, was used for mass. Bedaf is located in the Land of Ravenstein, where the prohibition was not imposed. The church was served by the Norbertines of the Abbey of Berne. After 1672 the Norbertines were able to move into a barn church in Heeswijk and left Bedaf. The barn church in Heeswijk served until 1809 when the Catholics got their old parish church back. The present parish church was built in 1895, and the church building was dedicated to St. Willibrord in 1896. On 6 September 2020, the church was closed as a religious centre with a special ceremony.
6

Abbey of Berne

Abdijstraat 49
5473 AD Heeswijk
Abbey of Berne
35
75
31
74
60
70
91
92
24
23
21
20
25
30
32
34