Such a large red brick building surrounded by deciduous forests is sure to impress. For centuries, this is where monks worked, prayed and lived with inspiration. The saying ‘the last is best’ certainly applies to the Ter Apel monastery. Of the 34 medieval monasteries and convents in Groningen, this was the last one to be founded. Today, it's the only one left that can still be recognised as a monastery.
The Ter Apel monastery was founded in 1464, during the final days of the Middle Ages. The monastery was a place of hospitality and devotion for travellers and pilgrims passing through. Both elements are still clearly felt. Visitors are allowed to look in the old dormitories and try on a habit before walking through the corridors dressed like a monk. The devotion and respect for God is distinctive in the monastery church with its high ceiling and ancient wooden ornaments. Don’t forget to look in the monastery garden with all its herbs for a moment of contemplation and awe.
Everything to do with food and drinks used to be stored in the provisions cellar under the monastery, where today you will find a substantial beer stock. For centuries, monks brewed beer on the monastery premises. You can still see this in the wooded areas in the form of wild hop. The current Kruisheren Klooster Ter Apel beers are brewed in Belgium and Germany. They sure taste good, so definitely take some bottles home as a souvenir.