Sint Jansklooster used to be home to a convent and a monastery: the Clarenberg Poor Clare Convent (Clarissenklooster) and St John’s Monastery (Sint Jansklooster).
The monastery at Sint Janskamp, as the monastery was officially called, was founded in 1399 by the blind John of Ommen. The ideas and ideals of the Modern Devotion, as preached by Geert Grote of Deventer, had made a deep impression on him. This religious reform movement sought a well-ordered society of men and women, who as laypersons were not bound to monastic vows but who nevertheless wanted to observe the rules of poverty, chastity and obedience. Because it made sense to join up with an organisation for similar communities, John and his fellow brothers opted for the ‘Third Order of St Francis’. Around 1405, like-minded women established the sister convent, the Clarissenklooster Clarenberg. The Sint Jansklooster was destroyed in 1581 during the Eighty Years’ War.
Due to the reformation, it was not rebuilt. The last remnants of the monastery burned down during the large town fire of 1835. Remains of the monastery walls can still be seen in a meadow opposite the fork at Kloosterweg-Monnikenweg. There has been a windmill in Sint Jansklooster for centuries; the name ‘monks’ windmill’ (monnikenmolen) suggests that St John’s Monastery had a windmill. The foundation stone of the existing windmill was laid in 1857. The prominent water tower built in 1931 can be seen from the distance. A poem is on display in the stone loft.
There has been a windmill in Sint Jansklooster for centuries; the name ‘monks’ windmill’ (monnikenmolen) suggests that St John’s Monastery had a windmill. The foundation stone of the existing windmill was laid in 1857. The prominent water tower built in 1931 can be seen from the distance. A poem is on display in the stone loft.
De Wieden’ nature reserve
Sint Jansklooster is located in the beautiful ‘De Wieden’ nature reserve, near the charming, historic village of Blokzijl and the picturesque village of Giethoorn. The ‘De Weerribben’ nature reserve is also located close by. Besides the flower parade, there are plenty of other things to do in Sint Jansklooster. For example, visitors can tour a beautiful windmill.
There is also a visitors’ centre, ‘De Wieden’, run by the Dutch society for nature preservation Vereniging Natuurmonumenten.
From the outdoor cafes you can enjoy beautiful views of the Beulakerwiede, the lake that attracts many water sports enthusiasts.