top of page
Het openluchtspel
HDT281.jpg

About the 'Heiligdomsvaart' and the historic relic procession Susteren.

Over de Heiligdomsvaart
HDT241.jpg

Storm of the Centuries open-air play

Performed in an open-air theatre by over 150 actors against the backdrop of the imposing, centuries-old Basilica of St. Amelberga, the fascinating play is a chronicle of legendary events in the Meuse region. Storm of the Centuries begins around 700, a time at which Christian missionaries were trying to convert the pagan inhabitants of the region of Suëstra.

 

The protagonist is Willibrord, an Anglo-Saxon missionary and first abbot of the Benedictine Susteren Abbey, who is aided by monks in overthrowing the idols. Christianity and paganism stand opposite each other as two unyielding powers. The play continues with impressions from the 10th century. After a period of plundering and destruction, the abbey and church are rebuilt in all their glory. The abbess Amelberga, King Zwentibold, and the church architect, a monk named Siginand, appear on stage. The inaugural feast turns out to be the prelude of a royal battle against rebellious counts.

 

Despite the tragedy of the historical narrative, the game ends with a hopeful glimpse into the future. Storm of the Centuries is a play by Jacques Schreurs M.S.C. The performance is directed by Karel Fiddelers, who also rewrote the text, with Jan van Wegberg as assistant director.

_MG_0237_j9-2014.jpg

Storm of the Centuries open-air play

Performed in an open-air theatre by over 150 actors against the backdrop of the imposing, centuries-old Basilica of St. Amelberga, the fascinating play is a chronicle of legendary events in the Meuse region. Storm of the Centuries begins around 700, a time at which Christian missionaries were trying to convert the pagan inhabitants of the region of Suëstra.

 

The protagonist is Willibrord, an Anglo-Saxon missionary and first abbot of the Benedictine Susteren Abbey, who is aided by monks in overthrowing the idols. Christianity and paganism stand opposite each other as two unyielding powers. The play continues with impressions from the 10th century. After a period of plundering and destruction, the abbey and church are rebuilt in all their glory. The abbess Amelberga, King Zwentibold, and the church architect, a monk named Siginand, appear on stage. The inaugural feast turns out to be the prelude of a royal battle against rebellious counts.

 

Despite the tragedy of the historical narrative, the game ends with a hopeful glimpse into the future. Storm of the Centuries is a play by Jacques Schreurs M.S.C. The performance is directed by Karel Fiddelers, who also rewrote the text, with Jan van Wegberg as assistant director.

The relics procession

 

An important part of the Heiligdomsvaart is the traditional procession of historic relics, which is held every seven years and displays the remains and objects of saints preserved in Susteren to the public. The front part of the procession depicts the history of Susteren as told by groups of actors in historical and artistic attire.

 

More than 1,000 people take part in the procession, divided into more than 50 different groups.

The second part contains the display of the relics. What is special about this edition of the procession is that St. Willibrord, the first abbot of the Susterense abbey, was given a church and monastery 1300 years ago by Pepijn van Herstal and his wife Plectrudis. St. Willibrord was the first bishop of Utrecht and found his final resting place in Echternach. For that reason, groups from the religious life of Utrecht and Echternach also participate in the Reliekenstoet. The reliquary of St. Willibrord will be carried through Utrecht - for the first time outside the city - and from Echternach the opening group with the image of St. Willibrord from the famous Spring Procession will march through the streets of Susteren.

De reliekenstoet
bottom of page