Redcliffe Pier

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NEW NORCIA, WA

The second stage of our APT "Western Wildflower Wonderland Tour" started in Perth and was going north as far as Monkey Mia (which had been on my bucket list for years). The first stop was New Norcia named after a town in Italy. However, it was established by two Spanish monks in 1847. It was a mission for the local aborigines. It is the only monastic town in Australia. It was amazing coming into this Spanish town in the middle of nowhere.  
There were many interesting buildings built in the spanish style.                     

 The Monastery is still in use by the Benedictine monks and is the only building out of bounds to visitors.

 The Abbey Church

 There were two boarding schools, St Gertrudes and St Ildephonsus one for girls and the other for boys. Over the years they have been used as colleges but no longer. Now they are used for accommodation and functions. It was also used for the 'stolen generation'  A dark part of our history, where aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their parents by the government to supposedly protect them and educate them.

The Education Centre

 This used to be a convent but now it is Museum and Art Gallery as well as the Visitor Centre. There is an amazing collection of religious art by European masters and contemporary Australian artists.

The Hotel
It is still owned by the monks and provides the traditional Benedictine hospitality. There is Abby Ale and New Norcia wine. Also in this town there is a library, old flour mill, bakery and olive workshop. They are all in good condition and still owned and operated by the monks.  

 Opposite the museum the ground was carpeted with flowers for as far as you could see and surrounding a brand new, large clean toilet block, which Red Oz may like for her collection of outback toilets.
A close up of the yellow carpet shows a mixture of tiny plants.

29 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures. Sounds like an amazing trip.
    Ann

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  2. How neat! I just love old architecture and old churches. Would love to wander around those grounds.

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  3. Love the yellow carpet but wow, what lovely and interesting buildings. I'd never heard of the "stolen generation" (why would I, I guess) and am glad you told us about it.

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  4. The education centre is a nice piece of architecture.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  5. i really like all this architecture, beautiful. i love the trees leading up to the building and would like to walk that path.

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  6. Hi Diane, I love the Spanish architecture. It's amazing how those 2 Spanish monks found and discovered this place. How interesting!

    Love the wildflowers... WOW---perfect.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  7. Great photos of a lovely spot. I haven't spent much time out that way and I enjoyed the article. Thanks

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  8. Interesting story again. The stolen generation, what strange ideas governements can have some times, not only there but all over the world.

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  9. I've never heard of this place Diane - sounds truly unique and how wonderful to take a peek in that art gallery & museum - I could spend hours there.

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  10. Love the photos..........I have never heard of New Norcia but have heard of Monkey Mia my parents have been to Monkey Mia and loved it.....

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  11. A fascinating post. I didn't realize that your country shared that same kind of dark chapter in history that we have here (among other dark chapters)...forced Indian schools, where a whole generation lost their heritage.

    Your pictures are beautiful and that really was an amazing trip.

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  12. Great reporting Diane
    Am back from the great South Land!
    Did manage to keep up from the Cherry Capital where it DOES rain, six days straight but not thankfully destructive, and even just before summer (today) commenced, you can still FREEZE!
    Cheers
    Colin (HB)

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  13. The architecture is beautiful. It's nice that it is being used for happier occasions these days. I saw "Rabbit Proof Fence" a few years ago. The US government had it's own share of sad years, with the forced relocation of Native Americans. Truly awful.

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  14. I would love to wander around that town just beautifull.

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  15. I watch that Nicole Kidman movie, and was surprised to read a recent review that Nicole acted badly. I love the show and Nicole, though I didn't like the jap invasion part.

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  16. like your blog name, today, I did a blog post, about dementia or how not to get it.

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  17. The palm trees and Spanish style to the buildings reminds me of southern California. Those buildings are gorgeous. I guess many of our countries have 'stolen generations', a very sad part of history.

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  18. Hi Diane, what a lovely place to visit. The building are gorgeous, I love the spanish style architecture. The shot with the palm trees and the shot with the field of yellow carpet are my favorites. Wonderful photos, thanks for the tour. Have a great day!

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  19. Oh my gosh this place is beautiful!!! Gregg and I are toying with the idea of going out to Arizona in the spring to see the wildflowers in the desert. I hope we can do it.

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  20. Such beautiful land and amazing buildings!
    Ann

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  21. It's like everywhere ! monks and priests have the best buildings ! look at the vatican ! I didn't know that the Spanish also came to Australia to make good Christians of the poor Aborigenes !

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  22. Good info and very nice pictures....it's a pleasure to visit your blog.

    Greetings from Holland, Joop

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  23. Interesting to see the Spanish style buildings. why not, if the Spanish had settled first, it would be all Spanish to us!! A very nice account of this part of Western Australia. I would like to go and see the wildflowers, perhaps next spring.♥T

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  24. dear diane,

    would love to go there.
    i so enjoyed your lovely pictures. love flowers and old architecture.

    thanks so much for sharing:

    happy thursday!

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  25. Hi Diane,
    I've been away but scrolled down to catch up on your posts - love the 'laying against the wind' shot. :)
    Lovely old architecture in this post. Looks well taken care of.
    The field of yellow is gorgeous. I like that you showed a closeup. Lots of interesting little blooms in there. :)

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  26. I saw six out of the 21 Spainish Missions on my trip to California, and I'm surprised to see one there too, Diane. It looks very imptressive and well taken care of.

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  27. Marvellous architecture and all so well maintained!

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  28. I wondering if you would see this town on your adventures, I was fascinated by it when we visited. It wasn't flower season so I didn't see that special display.

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  29. Your great photos bring back a lot of memories from a trip around Oz we did with our boys quite a number of years ago. New Norcia was one of the spots I just loved. The buildings, the landscape!

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