PARCUM offers temporary thematic exhibitions at the crossroads of religion, art and culture, often based around never shown before heritage from churches, abbeys and monasteries. Attention is paid in particular to the significance of these themes and this heritage in today's multi-religious and superdiverse society.
As a museum for dialogue, PARCUM deliberately focuses on the interaction between contemporary (global) themes and religious heritage, between believers and non-believers, between different denominations and philosophies, between young people and the elderly, ... With this approach, PARCUM desires to stimulate engagement in visitors of various philosophical and cultural backgrounds. The museum positions itself as an open meeting place, a place for critical and creative thinking, for wonderment and development, for reflection and dialogue.
PARCUM addresses issues of identity and creates new forms and contents to alleviate social tensions, for instance, by focusing on questions about interreligiousness and interculturalism, citizenship and personal development.
The Park Abbey was founded in 1129, shortly after the founding of the Norbertine Order in Prémontré. Godfrey I the Bearded, count of Leuven, made the grounds of his game park available. About a century later, in 1228, the Romanesque abbey church was consecrated by the bishop of Liège. Throughout its history and under subsequent abbots, the abbey underwent various construction campaigns. The last major renovation was finished in 1730, when the current church tower was completed.
The Park Abbey, situated on a stone’s throw from the centre of Leuven, is one of the best-preserved abbey complexes in Belgium and Holland. In 2017, PARCUM was established in the recently renovated halls of the Norbertine abbey. A visit to the museum takes you along the former chapter house, the reception halls of the abbot, and the attic of the abbey's west wing.
The Museum for Religion, Art and Culture is an initiative of the Centre for Religious Art and Culture vzw (CRKC). The CRKC is recognised by the Flemish government as the centre of expertise for religious heritage, and has established itself in the Park Abbey after its founding in 1997. In 2003, the Museum for Religious Art and Culture was founded, partly with the help of the CRKC. In 2010, the museum was fully incorporated into the CRKC. With the transformation of the Museum for Religious Art and Culture into PARCUM in 2017, the museum activities of the CRKC are vastly expanded.
Would you like to support the museum?
The Religious Heritage Fund raises funds for the conservation, restoration and disclosing of moving and unmoving religious heritage in Flanders and Brussels. The fund gives special attention to the expansion of the heritage site of the Park Abbey and PARCUM, the museum for dialogue on religion, art and culture.
Do you also care about religious heritage?
Then support the Religious Heritage Fund with a donation, which you can transfer to
BE10 0000 0000 0404 – BIC: BPOTBEB1
Mention reference number ***182/0740/00045***
PARCUM is part of the structure of the Centre for Religious Art and Culture (CRKC vzw), recognised by the Flemish government as a centre of expertise since 2009, and is supported by, among others, the Flemish Bishops, the KU Leuven, the Union of Religious of Flanders, the Province of Flemish Brabant, the City of Leuven and the Park Abbey.