Thorn is a town in the municipality of Maasgouw, in the Dutch province of Limburg. It lies on the rivers Meuse and Witbeek. It is known as 'the white village' for its white-washed brick houses in the centre of town.
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.
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