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Thorn

First, the region of Thorn was a swamp nearby the Roman road between Maastricht and Nijmegen. But the region had been drained and about 975, Bishop Ansfried of Utrecht founded a Benedictine nunnery. This monastery developed since the 12th century into a secular stift or convent. The principal of the stift was the abbess. She was assisted by a chapter of at most twenty ladies of the highest nobility.
Previously the abbess and the chapter were endowed with religious tasks but, since the 12th century, they served secular matters and formed the government of a truly sovereign miniature principality, the smallest independent state in the German Holy Roman Empire, approximately 250 x 250 metres.

Thorn nowadays is known as 'the white village' for its white-washed brick houses in the centre of town.
The church is dedicated to Saint Michael.

Source: (partly) wikipedia

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Additional Photos by JWM Hendrikx (janneman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 333 W: 0 N: 227] (2540)
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