We go back in time. The Order of St. Birgitta (officially the Order of the Most Holy Saviour) has its origins in Vadstena. Soon many foundations were added, including in Rosmalen. There, on the Koudewater estate, the followers of H. Brigitta of Sweden (1303-1373) started a double monastery for sisters and brothers in 1443: the Mariënwater. This was the first foundation of the Order of St. Birgitta in the Netherlands. The Birgittinessen sisters lived here for almost three centuries, until they were forced to move to Uden in 1713. Catholicism was not openly allowed in Rosmalen.


The museum was founded in 1973. Due to the decline among the sisters, the museum was able to settle in the complex of the Birgittine Abbey of Maria Refugie. This was also the moment when a large number of statues, which were once sold out of poverty, returned.


The crown as a symbol

After the renovation in 2019, the Museum of Religious Art continued under the name Museum Krona. Krona is the Swedish word for crown and thus refers to the Swedish origin of the monastic order and the special crown that the sisters Birgittinessen wear. The crown consists of three white bands, which are connected to each other. The places where the bands intersect symbolize the five wounds of Christ. In doing so, the museum endorses the importance of Christianity, the monastery and the Birgittinessen for the museum.


Read more about the sisters Birgittinessen or watch the documentary ‘An island in time’.


No visit to the monastery possible

Unfortunately, the inhabited monastery is not open to the public. The abbey wing, now used by the museum, is the only part open to the public. You can visit this abbey wing when you visit the museum.



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