Affligem Abbey

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Affligem Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the municipality of Affligem, Flemish Brabant, Belgium, twelve miles to the north-west of Brussels. Dedicated in 1086, it was the most important monastery in the Duchy of Brabant and therefore often called Primaria Brabantiae.

First foundation

The abbey of Affligem was founded in 1061 or 1062, by six hermits, a group of knights who repented of their violent way of life. Hermann II, Count Palatine of Lotharingia (1061–1085) and his guardian, Anno II, archbishop of Cologne (d. 1075) are considered official founders. The count Palatine donated the land on which to build the abbey church. The first St Peterchurch was erected in 1083. The Rule of St Benedict was adopted in 1085 and the abbey was dedicated in 1086.

The counts of Brabant, also counts of Leuven, became their protectors (Vögte) in 1085/1086. A number of their family members are buried in the abbey church, including Queen Adeliza of England (d. 1151), as well as her father Duke Godfrey I of Leuven (d. 1139).

During the 12th century, the abbey became known for its strict observance of the discipline of the Cluniac reforms.

One notable monk during this period was John (Cotton?), whose treatise "de Arte Musica" (c. 1100-1121) is one of the earliest of musical theses, covering the ecclesiastical use of monody in the organum and the roots of polyphony.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux visited Affligem in 1146, where he is said to have had a vision of the Blessed Virgin, in...
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