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Secluded life in monasteries attracts visitors for a day

Open House at nearly 100 locations

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

UTRECHT, the Netherlands - Each year, greenhouse growers, farmers, windmill operators and owners of monuments, set aside one day as their Open House to showcase their interests to the public. As part of the Roman Catholic Jubilee 2000 festivities, religious orders recently also held their Open House at nearly one hundred of such institutions in the country.

At abbeys, convents and monasteries visitors had the opportunity to learn more about life away from the hustle of society, about prayer, spirituality and work in these, mostly graying communities. “Open Kloosterdag” allowed the orders to host people who otherwise never may make the effort to enter such institutions, not even for a short visit.

Well over half of the participating institutions are located below the Great Rivers, in Brabant and Limburg. Only one opened its doors in Friesland, about six in Overijssel. The orders had set up a special information line for people to call.

A number of the monasteries also offer retreats during weekends.