Map of Monasteries

IJhorst, Benedictijner dubbelklooster: Dikninge

Monasteries in the Netherlands until 1800 on the map

>> Nederlands versie

The Map of Monasteries shows the monasteries of all orders which have been represented in the present-day Netherlands during the Middle Ages and Early Modern period (until 1800). The map visualises the data assembled for the Census: Monasteries in the Netherlands until 1800.



This Map of Monasteries is based on the Census, which has been composed at the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and which contains basic information on all monasteries in the Netherlands until 1800. The Census may be accessed independently: . But its records are also accessible via the Map.

In its original shape, the Census of Monasteries was launched in 2008; since that year improved versions have been edited repeatedly. The Census is composed of several constituents and contains an elaborate Introduction, to which users of the Map who are interested in additional information are referred. The nucleus of the Census consists of a series of records (articles) on all individual monasteries, over 750 in total. Photos have been appended to these articles whenever remnants are still visible in the public realm. Additionally, among the datasets included in the website are those on Collegiate Churches and Granges. A collegiate church is the seat of a college of higher clerics whose members had not taken monastic vows. A grange (‘uithof’ or ‘voorwerk’ in Dutch) is a dependent branch situated at some distance from the monastic headquarter and geared towards agricultural exploitation. The monasteries, the collegiate churches and the granges can be found on the map.


The map is interactive, which means that the situation is presented for a chosen year and that a selection of monastic orders can be composed. The choice for a specific year may be done with the help of the sliding scale below or by entering a year in the window at the top of the map. The monastic orders are visible as so many layers on the map. Each monastic order follows a specific rule, often supplemented by a set of constitutions (an ordinance) binding the lives of the members of the order. As the number of different rules is small, the orders have been grouped according to these rules, each of which has a colour of its own. Within these groups, various orders are represented by the use of different icons. The orders with their icons become visible by clicking on them in the legend. Clicking on the symbol of an individual monastery on the map calls up the corresponding record of the Census, often with photo. The collegiate churches and the granges are accessible as separate layers, and here, too, clicking to the records of the Census is possible. Activating the layer of the granges has the additional particularity that only those granges are shown that belong to monasteries selected previously. Clicking on the icon of an individual grange results in the marking (by circles) of the related monastery and of the other granges – if any – of that same monastery. Clicking on the icon of a monastery likewise shows all related granges. As far as the basic map is concerned, options are possible between cartodb-light, Open Street Map, Bing Aerial and Bing Road.


The responsibility for the content of the Census of Monasteries resides with prof. dr. Koen Goudriaan, for the ICT, drs. Ben Stuyvenberg is responsible (Faculty of Humanities). The Map of Monasteries has been made for Geoplaza under the guidance of drs. Lida Ruitinga, the University Library’s curator of maps and Atlases; it has been devised and executed by Peter Vos (IT for Research).

The map replaces the map of monasteries published by S. Muller Hzn a.o. in 1921-1923 as part of the Geschiedkundige Atlas van Nederland [Historical Atlas of the Netherlands] of A.A. Beekman. The Monasticon Batavum by M. Schoengen, which appeared in 1941-42 as a complete survey of all monasteries in the Netherlands, lacked a concomitant map. Since that time, research has made much progress. The most important publications for each monastery are mentioned in the Census; they have also been accounted for in the Map as best we could.

Systematic attention has been given to the urban maps by Jacob van Deventer from the years around 1560 (modern editions by C. Koeman and J.C. Visser, 1992-2001; and by Rutte and Vannieuwenhuyze, 2018). For the northern provinces recourse was had to the HISGIS site of the Fryske Akademy in Leeuwarden. The map ‘Kloosters omstreeks 1300’ [Monasteries around 1300] in De Bosatlas van de Geschiedenis van Nederland [Bos’ Atlas of the History of the Netherlands] is based on the data in P. de Nijs & H. Kroeze (eds.), De Middeleeuwse kloostergeschiedenis van de Nederlanden [Medieval Monastic History of the Netherlands] (2008-2011), which has not digested recent research systematically.

Cartographic Sources

The sources concerned are physically present mostly in the collection Maps and Atlases of the University Library of the Vrije Universiteit. They show mainly reconstruction maps with respect to the situation of monasteries in a specific period. In exceptional cases reference is made to original maps (in facsimile), for example to the maps of Jacob van Deventer. The sources give information on the period covered by the Map of Monasteries (Middle Ages and Early Modern Period until 1800) with a broad margin.

De atlas van Acker Stratingh : kartering van de groninger bodem, wierden en waterstaat (1825-1839) / Reinder Reinders
Eelde : Barkhuis, 2019
UB LK.12130gk:16202
Containing information on old monastic sites on the geological map of 1837, p.257.

Stedenatlas van Jacob van Deventer: 226 stadsplattegronden uit 1545-1575, schakels tussen verleden en heden / Reinout Rutte, Bram Vannieuwenhuyze m.m.v. Yvonne van Mil
Bussum : Thoth ; Tielt : Lannoo, [2018]
UB LK.12102gk: 162
Heritage monuments with a.o.:
Map: Overblijfselen van kloosters [Remains of Monasteries], p.120

Van graanschuur tot tichelwerk : de voorwerken van het klooster Aduard / Tunnella Reuderink-Kort
Aduard : Stichting Kloostermuseum Sint Bernardushof, 2018
UB LK.02832gk: la.42/162

Kloosters in Limburg / Frans Q. Hoebens
Utrecht : Stichting Matrijs, [2017]. Met kaarten.
UB KX.47599.-

De Bosatlas van Amsterdam
Groningen : Noordhoff Atlasproducties, [2015]
UB LK.12056gk: 162.s
Medieval Amsterdam (with a survey of all 19 men’s and women’s convents within the town wall), p.14/15.

Geschiedenis van de Wadden : de CANON van de Waddeneilanden / A. Doedens en Jan Houter
Zutphen : Walburgpers, [2015]
UB LK.12054gk: 1626
Old monastic property: the islands, Ludingakerke, Mariëndal and Klaarkamp, p.18-21

De Bosatlas van het cultureel erfgoed
Groningen : Noordhoff, 2014
UB LK.12023gk: 162
Monasteries, p.242-243 With a.o.:
Plan of Ter Apel monastery
Map : Kloosterdorp Steyl near Tegelen
Maps: Monasteries which are National Monuments Rijksmonumentale and related buildings; 1 Outside Noord-Brabant and Limburg 2. Noord-Brabant and Limburg, outside the inner city of Maastricht 3. Inner city of Maastricht

De Bosatlas van de geschiedenis van Nederland / [red. en cartografisch ontwerp: Noordhoff Atlasproducties]
Groningen : Noordhoff Atlasproducties, 2011
UB LK.11933gk: 162 en HN.45431.h: D.0072
Several maps with relevant information on monasteries in various periods, the ‘terpen’ (mounds) on which they were situated, their landed property and their outlay, pp. 30; 80; 86; 87; 119; 120; 121; 165

Schematisch overzicht van de kloosters in de provincie Groningen in de Middeleeuwen.
In: Emo’s reis : een historisch culturele ontdekkingstocht door Europa in 1212 [Emo’s voyage: a historical and cultural tour of discovery across Europe] / Dick  E.H. de Boer. –  
S.l. : Noordboek Davidsfonds 2011

Klöster und Stifte von der Merowingerzeit bis zum 1200. [Kaart] IX.2Klöster und Stifte von um 1200 bis zur Reformation. [Kaart] IX.3
In: Geschichtlicher Atlas der Rheinlande
Met Beiheft IX/3: Klöster und Stifte von um 1200 bis zur Reformation / Gerold Bönnen und Frank G. Hirschmann. 
Bonn : Habelt Verlag, 2006.
UB LK.05319gk: 1205

De afbeeldingen van kerken op Van Deventers gewestkaarten / Herman Versfelt. In: Caert-Thresoor 21(2002)3, p.85-86.
UB LT.07279gk
Information on the way convents are indicated on Van Deventer’s regional maps.

Atlas van het Christendom / Henry Chadwick en Gillian Evans
Alphen aan den Rijn : Atrium, cop. 1997
UB LK.10830gk: 000/gd
Maps on the spread of the Cistercian order and on monastic schools (pp. 69 and 71)

Gewestkaarten van de Nederlanden door Jacob van Deventer, 1536-1545 : met een picturale weergave van alle kerken en kloosters / met tekst van C. Koeman
[Maasland] : Stichting tot Bevordering van de Uitgave van de Stadsplattegronden van Jacob van Deventer ; Alphen aan den Rijn : Canaletto, 1994
UB LK.10688gk: 162

De stadsplattegronden van Jacob van Deventer / [voorw.] C. Koeman ; [inl.] J.C. Visser ; [eindred.: P.C.J. van der Krogt]
Landsmeer : Robas, 1992-2001. – 12 dl.
UBVU LK.10466gk: 162.s.

Spectrum atlas van historische plaatsen in de Lage Landen / onder red. van A.F. Manning en M. de Vroede
Utrecht/Antwerpen : Spectrum, 1981
Niet in UBVU
Medieval Cistercian abbeys in the Low Countries p.37.

Atlas van de Nederlandse beschaving / J.J.M. Timmers.
Amsterdam [etc.] : Elsevier, 1957
UB HX.05108xx
Map 23: Monasteries in the late medieval Netherlands, p.79

Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft, bildstatistisches Elementarwerk; das Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Wien zeigt in 100 Farbigen Bildtafeln Produktionsformen, Gesellschaftsordnungen, Kulturstufen, Lebenshaltungen  / Österreichisches Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum.
Leipzig : Bibliographisches Institut ag. [cop. 1930]
UB LK.11018gk: 000/odg

Map 16: Klöster : die wichtigsten Klöster in Deutschland und Nachbargebieten.

Geschiedkundige atlas van Nederland. Eerste Deel. Begin – 1561.
’s-Gravenhage : Nijhoff, 1920.
UB LA.08744gk: 162 en LK.11862gk: (mag) 162

De kerkelijke indeeling omstreeks 1550 tevens kloosterkaart [Ecclesiastical Subdivisions ca. 1550, also Map of Monasteries] / S. Muller Hzn., J.G.S. Joosting, J.S. van Veen and A.A. Beekman
Map 9 consisting of:
Page with explanation
Pages 1-19
Carton A: The monasteries of Windesheim and the houses of Brethren and Sisters of the Common Life
Carton B: The immunities of the collegiate churches of Utrecht