Medieval Memoria Online

Description - Monastery

Susteren, Benedictinessen in Susteren, Limburg, NL

MeMO institution ID and name
MeMO institution ID 924
Name (Dutch) Susteren, Benedictinessen
Name (English) Susteren, Benedictine Nuns
Patron saint(s)
  • Saviour
  • Peter
  • Paul
Additional remarks The former monastery church is currently known as the basilica of St Amelberga, named after the first abbess of the convent, who was venerated as a saint.
Location (according to current geography)
Province Limburg, NL - Netherlands
Settlement Susteren
Coordinates 187/341B
Diocese before 1559 Liege
Diocese after 1559 Liege
Parish Susteren
Date of foundation 714
Founder(s) or main benefactor(s) St Willibrord, Pepin of Herstal and his wife Plectrudis
Religious order
Type of religious order Benedictine
Associated with Abbey of Prüm
Type of institution women
Mother house
Name of the mother house
Phases in the institutional history 714: Foundation of a Benedictine male monastery on ground donated by Pepin of Herstal. ca.882: Possibly because of an attack of Vikings in 882, monastic life in Susteren ended. The history of this period, until 1312, is uncertain. 891: The monastery was given to the Abbey of Prüm, and continued as a women's convent, of which the first abbess probably was Amelberga. 1312: First certain mention of the Benedictine women's convent. In practice, monastic life more resembled that of secular canonesses.
Date of transition to secular management
Date of dissolution ca.1797
Additional remarks In the eighth and ninth century, many members of the royal family were buried in the monastery, of which the most prominent was the Middle Frankish king Zwentibold (ca.900). The separate parish church of Susteren, built in the fifteenth century, burned down in 1789. When the monastery was dissolved, the monastery church was given to the parish.
Extant memorial objects and/or texts concerning memoria
Memorial objects
Text carriers
Type of extant material institution archive/archival material
Storage in one place
Short description of the material Inventory 14.B005 Kapittel van Sint Salvator te Susteren; 128 charters, 1312-1802. Inventory: J.A.K. Haas, Inventaris van de archieven van het kapittel van Sint Salvator te Susteren. Inventarissenreeks RAL 2 (Maastricht 1971).
Holding institution(s)
Name Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg (RHCL)
Settlement Maastricht, Limburg, NL
Additional remarks
  • Hartog, Elizabeth den, Romanesque Architecture and Sculpture in the Meuse Valley (Leeuwarden/Mechelen 1992)
  • Koch, E.M.F., De kloosterpoort als sluitpost? Adellijke vrouwen langs Maas en Rijn tussen huwelijk en convent, 1200-1600 ( 1994), 28-29
  • Kubach, H.E.; Verbeek, A., Romanische Kirchen an Rhein und Maas (Neuss 1970)
  • Schoengen, M.; Boeren, P.C., Monasticon Batavum, deel III: De Benedictijnsche orden, benevens de Carmelieten en Jesuieten (Amsterdam 1942), 114-115
  • Veen, J.S. van; Beekman, A.A., Geschiedkundige atlas van Nederland. De kerkelijke indeeling omstreeks 1550 tevens kloosterkaart III. De bisdommen Munster, Keulen en Luik; het bisdom Doornik (The Hague 1923), 86
  • Vliet, Kaj van, In kringen van kanunniken. Munsters en kapittels in het bisdom Utrecht 695-1227 (Zutphen 2002), 42-44, 75-76

Building history

General date of construction <1100
Church or chapel(s)
Name Susteren, St Amelberga's Basilica
Date of foundation 714
Date of consecration
Short history of the building stages <1100: After one or more predecessors, of which one was destroyed by Vikings in 882, the current Early Romanesque church was constructed in the eleventh century. <1200: Construction of the twelfth-century westwork, originally with a central tower, which already disappeared before the nineteenth-century renovation. 1885-1891: Renovation by Pierre Cuypers.
Additional remarks The inventory of the church contains many medieval items, including a twelfth-century baptismal font, a bell from 1309, a sarcophagus, various tombs of abbesses, the Susteren gospel book, and the St Amelberga reliquary, both from the twelfth century. Further an eighteenth-century confessional and a nineteenth-century organ.
Burial ground
Date of consecration
Date of clearance
Extant building remnants
Additional remarks
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