“This special place has been on the move for centuries.”

Nico Arts is city archeologist of Eindhoven. He has a great knowledge of the history of the place where DOMUSDELA has been realized. The oldest part of Eindhoven. He did several archeological findings there. Although the puzzle of the story is far from finished the secrets make this area so fascinating to him.

Lively connection with the history

When Nico Arts walks around in DOMUSDELA and the surrounding area he is filled with a feeling of respect for the past. "The area has a very wealthy history. Since the first developments of the Dommel in 1100 there have been many changes. You experience a lively connection with the history, especially if you know those stories." In the context of all those developments the project of DOMUSDELA is not all that exceptional he argues. "It is a repetition of things that have happened here before. Many other buildings have been destroyed by war, looting or fires. Every single time they have been rebuild, adapted to the needs of that time, as is the case now with the Paterskerk, the Augustinianium, the student chapel and the gardens.

Many things we still don't know

The majority of the old buildings no longer exist. There are, however, many leftovers which can be found although they are not always immediately visible or exposed. Archeologists and historici were able to make a good reconstruction of the story of the area where the basis for the current Eindhoven was founded. However, this can never be fully proven, because the medieval archives of both Eindhoven and the monastery of Mariënhage went up in flames in 1486 and 1581. "The information of found objects and materials often fills in the blanks, but that possibility of verification is what we lack here." Despite of this, according to Arts, there are many things we still don't know about what happened in the area in the last nine centuries. This will stay that way for now. "In the past archeologists tried to dig up the past, but nowadays the idea of preservation is more important. This way, future generations with their advanced materials and knowledge will still be able to make this visible. Which is good to know."

Florarium Temporum

According to Nico Arts the history of this part of Eindhoven is comparable to most other monasteries. However, it is most famous because Nicolaas Clopper wrote the so-called Florarium Temporum here between 1464 and 1472. This chronicle has been the most important source for medieval world history for centuries. Despite this it took until the nineteenth century before it was discovered - by coincidence - that this handwritten book came from Eindhoven. Arts believes that this adds another layer of dimension to the history of this place.

Paterskerk

DOMUSDELA appeals to Arts because the former monastery terrain is now accessible to 'normal' people for the first time in 900 years. Until the sale to DELA no one else was allowed on the property but the clergymen. The 'normal' people were only welcome in the medieval monastery church and in the later Paterskerk. Before that, they build a special bridge at the medieval monastery church. This way the visitors didn't need to walk across the monastery terrain. The bridge has been frequently used, because the Paterskerk has always been visited by many churchgoers from Eindhoven and surroundings.

Open and hidden

No matter how open the building becomes, some cases will remain hidden according to Arts. "We know that under the halls the remains from former fathers have been buried. About 3 meters under the field, the foundations of the old round tower, the first stone building of Eindhoven, can be found. The archeologists himself doesn't need much fantasy to transport himself to past times. "When I see the lights falling through the windows, I can still see the monks who day in, day out worked in silence by copying and transcribing books. I hope that people who visit here will realize that as well, because that is what makes this place so special."

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