Saturday, 16 January 2016

New Norcia, Western Australia.

Someone at Moora told us to visit New Norcia as there was an historic Abbey there and was worth seeing.  So we headed further inland to see what all the talk was about.

Apparently at New Norcia you can buy bread that is to die for, however these days the bread is made elsewhere and transported to via carrier to New Norcia.

There are a few Monks living at the Abbey and the last Spanish Monk passed on some years ago.

The Benedictine abbey was founded on 1 March 1846 by a Spanish Benedictine, Rudesindus Salvado, for the Christianising of Australian Aborigines. It is situated eighty-two miles from Perth, the state capital; its territory was bounded on the south and east by the then Diocese of Perth, and on the north by the Diocese of Geraldton.

'This mission at first had no territory. Its founder lived in the wilderness, leading the same nomadic life as the indigenous people whom he had come to convert. His food was of the most variable character, consisting of wild roots dug out of the earth by the spears of his neophytes, with lizards, iguanas, even worms in times of distress, or, when fortunate in the chase, with the native kangaroo.
After three years of hardships amongst the local people, Salvado came to the conclusion that they could be converted to Christianity. Assisted by some friends, he started for Rome in 1849 to procure auxiliaries and money to assist him in his work. Whilst in Rome, he was appointed Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria (Australia) in Northern Australia, being consecrated on 15 August 1849. Before he left Rome, all of the people of Port Victoria had abandoned the diocese for the goldfields. Salvado then implored the pope to permit him to return to Australia. He set out for Spain and obtained there monetary assistance and over forty young volunteers. All these afterwards became Benedictines. They landed in Australia in charge of their bishop on 15 August 1852.
Bishop Salvado, with his band of willing workers, then commenced operations. They cleared land for the plough and introduced the natives to habits of industry. They built a large monastery, schools and orphanages for the young, cottages for the married and flour-mills to grind their wheat. An important village soon sprang up, in which many natives were fed, clothed and converted to Christianity.'
Wikipedia 


 St Ildephonsus' Boys' School.

Tours of most of the buildings are conducted each day, unfortunately we were too late for the morning one, and we had to move on towards Merredin, WA. 


 Abbey Church, contains the tomb of Dom Rosendo Salvado.
Apparently it's is lovely inside.  Of course the door was locked!




New Norcia Benedictine Monastery, which is still used today.


 This Abbey was signed private, but I put my lens inside the gate - and took photos.



 Out side of the Abbey, and it goes a long way to the left as well.


St Gertrude's College - now used for various other things.


The Hotel


A house near the Hotel.  All need a coat of paint!


Crops on the way to New Norcia




The Map where New Norcia on the 95 Highway.

39 comments:

  1. All the place names in Australia sound so colorful to my American ear. Here in various places around the country there are lots of Spanish and French place names, but they sound quite ordinary compared to these.

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    1. Many of our towns are Aboriginal names. It's very interesting to find our how towns got their names.

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  2. New Norcia looks like a wonderful and interesting place to visit. I enjoyed the tour through your photos.

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    1. It's a place you certainly wouldn't think you would find in the Australian bush.

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  3. Janice, so sorry you didn't get the tours in the Abbey. We were in a couple of Abbeys in Australia, and they were so lovely. The monks did amazing work there, and what a tribute to their witness. Your photos are very inviting.

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    1. We were a bit disappointed too. Never mind, have seen photos of the inside of the church on the internet.
      You have been to Australia? (I didn't think you had)

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    2. Yes, Linda Kay, when did you visit Australia?
      And as there are not many Abbeys in Australia, which ones
      did you see?
      Also Monks do not give "tributes to their witness"!
      Oh yes lovely photos you have of the Cathedral in Salzburg in
      AUSTRIA!
      Colin

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  4. Hello M it is too bad you could not get in it would have been wonderful I do love te shots you did take and the history is fascinating. Take care HUGS xo G

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    1. Yes, would have been lovely to see inside. We didn't know there were tours of the Spanish type buildings.

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  5. Missionaries were some of the earliest explorers. And it must have taken courage to go so far from home and family, knowing that you would probably never see them again.
    No wonder when they were building they built a 'little slice of home...'

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    1. They must have been so dedicated, and not to know what they would find either. There is nothing else there apart from a couple of houses, maybe long ago there was a town.

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  6. Another very interesting post. I really enjoy them. The locked chapel reminded me of how I used to enjoy visiting churches in various places. They were always open and welcoming, even if no one was there. Today they are ALL locked up unless it's time for mass. A sign of the times, no doubt. Anyway, another wonderful post.

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    1. Thanks Bill.
      You are correct on the doors being closed. It happens in Australia, but only in some areas is the door closed.

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  7. I like all pictures that you have published, but especially the building of the first photo .

    Kisses

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    1. It is a lovely building and is probably the best one there.

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  8. Very impressive buildings. I first learnt of New Norcia from the early eighties photographic book, A Day in the Life of Australia. It has a very interesting history and I believe a brilliant library.

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    1. Apart from travellers you are the first person that I've heard of that knows of New Norcia. I bet the photos in the book are brilliant.

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  9. This is certainly an interesting part of the history of Australia.
    I've been told that on "open" days as is necessary now what is inside is
    quite amazing. Pity you were not there on a guided your day or time.
    Like Andrew above, I have heard about the brilliant library that this abbey
    has.
    The crop paddocks sure are looking good for a fine harvest.
    Pity about that ramshackle house but as Ned K said - "Such is Life!"
    Great report and I'm glad you did the detour.
    Colin

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  10. Margare it is a fantastic place to visit. The setting is amazing the abbey looks great. i love the best your palm trees

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    1. Those palm trees got in the way of a good photo of the building, but never mind.

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  11. Those fields are the most beautiful shade of green. The Abbey is pretty, too, and rich in history.

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    1. I'm sure there would be many stories about the Abbey and life there. I expect it's documented somewhere.
      Wonderful to see such greenery after seeing none.

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  12. Love the old buildings and enjoyed this little history lesson.

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  13. For interested readers of this Abbey in WA here is the link:
    Most informative indeed on the past and the present.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Norcia,_Western_Australia
    Colin

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  14. You never know what you will find out in the bush.
    Merle..............

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    1. That's very true Merle...this Abbey was certainly a surprise.,

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  15. Truly wonderful photos and what a lovely place. Thanks for sharing and warm greetings!

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  16. Hi there, my first visit to your blog - having seen you around some of the blogs I visit.

    Lovely photo's you've featured against such a wonderful blue sky.

    This morning in the UK certain areas have snow ... so it was lovely to look at and read your post.

    All the best Jan

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  17. Thanks for coming and commenting,,
    The photos and our trip was last year in our winter :)

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  18. A great post Margaret. You do virtual tours very well I have to say! I'm glad you got to visit New Norcia but it was a shame that you missed the tours. It is quite a surprise isn't it to find such grand buildings in a little town in the wheat belt? If you didn't know what to expect beforehand it would be quite a shock.
    My mum went to boarding school there for a year when she was a child.

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    1. Thanks Wendy. Definitely a big surprise to find New Norcia and what it hold in the middle of nowhere...
      That's interesting about your mum :)

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  19. I thought this was an amazing place out in the middle of nowhere.

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