les Dunes, Abbey of

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Former Cistercian abbey (Latin, Dunae ), located near Coxyde, Belgium, in the former Diocese of Thérouanne (presently the Diocese of Bruges). This abbey, founded in 1107 by the hermit Léger, was attached c. 1120 to the Norman Abbey of savigny. The abbot Fulk, successor of Léger, placed the monastery under St. bernard and retired to clairvaux. Under the administration of the abbot, Bl. Idesbald, the abbey gained many domains along the coast. The abbot of Les Dunes was chief of the wateringues; that is, he had charge of the maintenance of the dikes. From Les Dunes, Clairmarais, near Saint-Omer, and ter doest, not far from Bruges, were founded. The abbey raised sheep for their wool. At the beginning of the 13th century a new monastery was built for a community of 400 religious. During the 16th century, because of the wars and internal strife, the abbey faced serious financial difficulties. In 1566 and 1578 the abbey was ravaged by Protestants. Abbot Bernard Campmans (162342) transferred the community to a new monastery at Bruges, from which the monks were evicted by the French Revolution. Since 1841 the abbey buildings have housed the major seminary of Bruges. Recent excavations at Coxyde have brought to light a large part of the monastery.

Bibliography: a. but, Cronica et cartularium monasterii de Dunis, ed. f. van de putte (Bruges 1864); Cronica abbatum monasterii de Dunis (Bruges 1839). Statuta capitulorum generalium ordinis cisterciensis, ed. j. m. canivez, 8 v. (Louvain 193341). l. janauschex, Origines Cistercienses (Vienna 1877) 51. m. a. dimier, "L'Église de l'abbaye des Dunes," Bulletin monumental 112 (1954) 243251; Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 14:10391044. j. de vincennes, L'abbaye des Dunes: Saint Idesbald (Charleroi 1956). p. schittekat, Sous les dunes de Coxyde (Brussels 1960). a. janssens de bisthoven, De abdij van de Duinen te Brugge (Bruges 1963).

[m. a. dimier]