Sacred Books | Secret Libraries

‘Sacred Books | Secret Libraries’ proposes the international visitor an exceptional offer: in two unique monasteries in the historic center of Bruges, he/she can be the guest of the religious who live there. The religious invite the visitor to enter their monastery building and their monastic life. During his visit, the tourist can get acquainted in a varied way with the religious and with the monastic complex where they live at a rhythm of prayer and study, in the wake of a long tradition.

Secret Libraries Bruges

Future prospects for monasteries

Sacred Books | Secret Libraries' aims to connect different religious sites and in this way build a network of spiritual heritage. From the Engels Monastery and the Carmelite Priory, the visitor is sent off to other places of faith and spirituality and other forms of religious life in Bruges and the wider area. In addition, it is the intention in the future to integrate other sites with religious heritage into the project and in this way to broaden the offer for the visitor.


The model of 'Sacred Books | Secret Libraries' does more than disclose, preserve and enhance the religious heritage in a professional manner: it responds to the need of many monasteries and other sites with religious heritage for a future perspective, it ensures a win-win situation between religious heritage, the religious and visitors. This once again demonstrates the sustainability of the project: 'Sacred Books | Secret Libraries' is the start of a sustainable business and the project also aims at sustainable tourism development outside the traditional tourist circuit.

Business plan generates resources

Sacred Books | Secret Libraries' assists the religious to make accessible what is now barely or not accessible and wants to prevent the spiritual and other heritage of the religious from disappearing together with the last religious.


A specific business model is being developed which, on the one hand, ensures professional and sustainable access to the monasteries and the reception of visitors, and, on the other hand, generates resources that enable the religious to focus on their religious life, to continue that life in their current state. environment and to preserve their heritage in situ. In this way, the religious character of the sites is not only preserved and made accessible, but also reinforced.


This project is being developed together with the religious. The sacred and contemplative character of the sites and of the living communities is a great asset. The religious experience of values ​​and their social commitment explain the conscious choice of the religious for suitable and appropriate economic activities in the tourist-recreational sector, for corporate social responsibility and for the social economy.

'Sacred Books | Secret Libraries' aims to become an example for tackling the problem of religious heritage: the intention is to redefine the role of religious heritage in the social debate and to take a leading role in that debate from these sites.

'Secret Books | Secret Libraries' will become a 'best practice': the project where others come to find inspiration. Because there is no initiative that is comparable to 'Sacred Books | Secret Libraries': this project is completely unique.


Doenja Van Belleghem