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Dorpskerk van Zuidlaren

At the base of the walls of the Zuidlaren church there are some large bricks. They are called ‘monastery bricks’  (Kloostermoppen). They are larger and more irregular in form than later bricks. These monastery bricks were made eight  hundred years ago in kilns on the banks of the Hunze. The kilns were heated with peat dug out of the  Zuidlaarderveen.

Monastery

When their wooden church burned down in 1232, the people of Zuidlaren decided to rebuild their new church in brick. The bricks for the Zuidlaren church were made by monks from the great abbey of Aduard in the province of Groningen. At that time this monastery was the largest economic undertaking in the region.

Monastery bricks in the church of Zuidlaren

Peat

The Aduard monks were the first people to begin digging peat on a large scale on the opposite bank of the Hunze  near Zuidlaren. In 1262 the people of Zuidlaren sold this peat bog to the abbey. The village of Zuidlaarderveen  sprang up there. Later, enterprising citizens and organisations from Groningen began to buy peat moors further up  the Hunze from farmers in other Hondsrug villages.

Location data

Hervormde Kerk

Coordinates:  53°05’46.7″N 6°41’17.9″E

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