To the right of the entance to the Willibrordus abbey, with a small statue of franciscan brothers on a pilar in front. Part of the abbey in the back with green bushes in front and tower bell in the middle.
Abbey,  Doetinchem,  Netherlands

A visit to the Willibrordus Abbey

Every year, a few other volunteers and I prepare youths for their confirmation. One of the things we do with them is visit a monastry, in the theme of mission. We have visited several over the years, we had a visit to the Willibrordus Abbey in Doetinchem in 2014, 2018 and 2019. We had a tour by a monk/lay brother each time.

The front of the abbey, where you arrive (by car), gravel road in front with the statue of the Franciscan brothers to the right, the tower bell behind it. You see the entrance with green bushes on both sides. Above the abbey some green trees and blue skies with a white cloud. A visit to the Willibrordus Abbey
The front of the abbey, where you arrive (by car)

Where to go for a visit to the Willibrordus abbey

The Abbey is located on Slangenburg estate, in the vincinity of Slangenburg Castle. On a winding gravel road you arrive at the Willibrordus abbey. You can park in front of the abbey or at the back. The Abbey lies beautifully in between the forrest. During a visit to the Willibrordus abbey you can take a walk or sit outside in the quiet and watch the flowers.

Entrance to the abbey. Green bushes in front of the abbey to the left of the entrance in the picture. You see part of the building with the entance to the right, with a separate roof.
Entrance of the abbey which has a special roof.
To the right of the entance to the Willibrordus abbey, with a small statue of franciscan brothers on a pilar in front. Part of the abbey in the back with green bushes in front and tower bell in the middle.
The entrance to the abbey
Statue of 2 Franciscan brothers they hold hands and bow to eachother
Statue of Franciscan brothers

The tour

Our tour by the monk started with the kids asking questions and then we visited the garden, kitchen, dining room, the chapel, meeting room and the library, which is a booklovers dream.

The abbey with two arches to drive under for cars.
The backside of the abbey with an entrance for cars
Dining room, you see windows on the left and a lamp above. two tables with benches
The dining room where the guests and lay brothers eat.

The lay brothers have a regular day and week schedule. Our guide explained what they do all day, that they are Benedictine monks, why they live the way they do, the hierarchy they follow, how they gain income. The kids also wanted to know why our guide choose to live here. He said that the core of what they ask themselves is “do I need this?”, and you don’t need that much is kind of their motto.

Part of the backside of the abbey. You see on the left and behind the abbey; roof and walls. There's green plants against the walls and a tree sticks out behind the building in the back.
Part of the behind of the abbey.
The courtyard of the abbey with walls on all sides, it's open and it's low green bushes with a pebble footpath through the middle. In the middle is a small fountain.
The courtyard of the abbey

There are several masses a day in the chapel of the abbey and laypeople are welcome to participate. There is a center of silence, in which you can stay. People come here for peace and quiet, for reflection. To unplug and load up again.

The chapel of the abbey, inside with youths walking in the middle and someone sitting in the banches to the left. On the left and right side are benches in the forefront of the picture, In the back is the altar and a large hanging candleholder. In the back are archways on the left and right side. You can visit teh chapel on a visit of the Willibrordus abbey
Inside the chapel of the abbey.

The peace, the quiet, the building, the nature and the stories of the lay brothers make the abbey worth a visit.

Backside of the abbey, with a grass field u=in front and a path on the right. In the back a tower where cars can drive under, and green bushes in the middle against the abbey.
Backside of the abbey

Adress:

Sint Willibrordsabdij

Abdijlaan 1 Doetinchem

https://willibrordsabdij.nl/

Are you looking for other reviews of places in The Netherlands? We also have a review of the Van der Valk hotel Tiel on the site. When visiting the Netherlands in Spring time, don’t skip the beautiful gardens at Keukenhof.

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