History

The Montfortan Monastery is located on the Diestevest, within walking distance of the train station. For decades, this beautiful site served as the trusted home of the Montfortan Fathers, who honor Mary and are responsible for spreading the founded Marian devotion according to Montfort. Its rich past and convenient location made this building the ideal Ithaka location. 

The building was constructed in 1888 and a partial reconstruction took place in 1949. In 2021 the monastery was designated as architectural heritage. Moreover, the building is also of great historical and architectural value. The L-shaped building has a horizontalizing effect due to the decorative brickwork and even after the restoration of 1949, there was a strong focus on a uniform brick style. The interior is eclectic, partly because of the various interior elements that survived after the 1888 construction, such as the grooved pilasters, some of the ceilings, and the parlor with its wood paneling and chimney. The many windows allow natural light to shine into the rooms at different times of the day. 

Despite the imposing facade, it is clear that this building was a home for the Fathers. From crosses on the walls to old letters and photographs, traces of a homely but contemplative life can be found in every room. The contrast between this spiritual, timid atmosphere and the bold, groundbreaking artworks makes the artists’ messages stronger.