Our Premises


Thanks to its favorable location, Bruges can easily be reached by car, train, ship and even plane. Ghent is at 30 minutes by car, Brussels at 1 hour. Most up-to-date information can be found on the website of the city of Bruges.

Upon arriving at the railway station of Bruges a taxi or bus (nr. 2) will take you to Langerei, the street that runs parallel to Potterierei where UNU-CRIS is situated. Leave the bus at Sabbestraat stop and take a short walk to our premises at Potterierei 72. For bus service information: www.delijn.be.

The Premises of UNU-CRIS

UNU-CRIS has its premises in the historical location of the Abbey of Ter Duinen, nowadays known as Grootseminarie Brugge, Potterierei 72, 8000 Bruges. All UNU-CRIS offices, the library and the common room are situated on the 2nd floor of the main building.

The Abbey of the Dunes, or “Ter Duinen”, was established in 1128 in Koksijde, in the hospitable Flemish coastal region, and grew into one of the most prestigious Cistercian abbeys in medieval Europe. For centuries it remained closely associated with its two fellow establishments: Clairmarais (founded 1137) near the tower of Saint-Omer in Northern France, and Ter Doest (founded 1175) in Lissewege.  From as early as the 13th century Ter Doest and Ter Duinen also had a firm foothold in Bruges, which was a metropolis at the time. The refuge of Ter Doest was located on this site, on the stretch of water connecting the port city of Bruges with the sea. The 16th Century signalled a reversal of fortune. The Community of Ter Doest ceased to exist and that of Ter Duinen was forced to give up its ruined abbey.

In 1624 the Abbey of the Dunes took over the Ter Doest estate, and thus also the site of the refuge, and immediately chose this as the site on which to erect a completely new abbey. Building got under way in 1628, and the first phase of construction ran until 1642.

It was a monumental baroque building that was only completed in the late 18th century.  The Abbey of the Dunes was closed down in 1796 and in 1833 was given a new vocation, as an Episcopal Seminary.  Since many years the authorities of the Province of West Flanders used the second floor of the main building as its archive. When in 2003 the archive moved to new premises, this opened the way for UNU-CRIS to be located here.

Do you want to know more about the Grootseminarie Brugge? Please click here;


Let this video guide you through Bruges, starting right outside our premises.