Master limestone sculptor Jan-Christian Hansche: little known, but a great craftsman!


The monastic order of the Premonstratensians, founded by Norbert in the town of Prémontré in northern France, has existed for exactly 900 years. Legend has it that Norbert was literally blown off his horse by lightning. Hence the title of the exhibition, 'Als de Bliksem' (Divine Lightning), which runs until 1 August in the Park Abbey in Heverlee, near Leuven. The anniversary of the foundation and the opening of the beautifully restored rooms are two reasons for the centuries-old abbey to celebrate.

The 17th-century stucco ceilings by the limestone mason on the ground floor refectory and the first floor library are simply breathtaking. In the refectory, The Last Supper (1679) seems to descend on the visitor, so deep is the relief. The mirrors avoid visitors getting a stiff neck, but still allow them to see every detail. The barrel vault (1672) of the monumental library enables visitors to read about the life of Norbert in a number of scenes. They can even recline in the deckchairs to enjoy the entire scene. The impressive scenes of human and animal figures are carved in lime mortar on a wooden lattice attached to the heavy beams with wrought iron nails. The restoration team uncovered every detail of the original painting after carefully removing the old layers of paint with wet compresses and scalpels.

Don't miss this unique experience, but don't forget to book!