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Charters of Kloosterrade Abbey 1108-1381

Edited by M.S. Polak and E.C. Dijkhof; with assistance from V. Paquay and H. van Engen

Kloosterrade Abbey, later known as Rolduc Abbey, was immensely important in mediaeval times. Aside from establishing other monasteries, the abbey also exercised considerable influence over the thirteenth century reform movement, particularly concerning the way of life observed by the new monastic orders.

Kloosterrade owned properties over a wide area which in today’s terms would cover the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. During the abbey’s heyday – halfway through the twelfth century and extending far into the thirteenth century – it grew into an important religious and cultural centre.

The Oorkondenboek van de abdij Kloosterrade [Trans. Book of charters of Kloosterrade Abbey.] is therefore relevant not just for the historiography of Limburg but for the historiography of the whole of the Netherlands and its neighbouring countries. The publication covers the period between 1108, the year of the oldest surviving document, and 1381. This is the first time that many of the charters have been published. The editors have also examined charters that were previously dismissed as forgeries and in several cases have re-established their authenticity.

The book of charters is the result of an initiative by the Lève Rolduc Foundation, which also raised the necessary funds to realise a long-cherished wish: namely, a modern edition of the charters of this Limburg abbey.