When you hear the Netherlands you immediately think of Amsterdam, the Hague and maybe also Rotterdam. But the Netherlands is much more than that. Besides amazing big and mid-sized cities and towns the Netherlands has also breath-taking little towns. Such as…Thorn.
Thorn is a small town situated in the southern region of the Netherlands: Limburg. Thorn is known as the white town because of the many white painted houses in the historic center of the village and the St. Michael’s Church.
It is a parish church, part of which dates back to the fourteenth century and replaced an older structure, of which the westwork and crypt are still preserved.
The current church is a Gothic cross basilica and it is built on the remains of an old Romanesque church. In the nineteenth century, the church was restored by the architect Cuypers who was responsible for example for the construction of the central station in Amsterdam. The abbey church is in the ‘Top 100 of the National Agency for the Preservation of Monuments’ from 1990.
The village was created sometime between the ninth and the tenth century AD after the swamp area around the village was reclaimed. At the end of the tenth century, the Abbey of Thorn was established here. Later the Abbey of Thorn became a monastery for noble ladies.
Count Ansfried van Teisterbant founded, together with his wife Hilsondis, a monastery according to the rule of Saint Benedict. The monastery grew into a foundation for noble ladies. They did not take a vow while entering it but were obliged to participate in the religious activities. They were free to leave the community, to marry or to enter a monastic order. The ladies owned and managed private property and they had their own home and their own servants. In addition, they received a personal income.
The characteristic white color of the village originated during the French rule in the 18th century. The French wanted to tax the size of windows in a house. Many of the poor residents of Thorn closed them with bricks and to hide it painted their homes white.
Park the car outside the center since in the center there are no parking places.