Studying and Student life

Zwijsen building

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Never a peaceful moment? Visit the Zwijsen Building! For 25 years now this building offers space for  reflection and contemplation for students and staff on Tilburg University campus! Opening hours are from 09:00 till 22.30 on every workday, and during weekends from 09:00 till 17:00.

Reflection and prayer

The Zwijsen Building, the iconic building at the heart of Tilburg University campus, opened on May 22nd, 1992.

This center for reflection and prayer encourages introspection and thus wants to contribute to deeper awareness. A place where people can contemplate their own actions and thoughts, and where academics can show their non-academic side. Such a ‘quiet contemplation room’ has a qualitative addition to the university, without focusing on institutionalized belief systems. A low-threshold building that does not force any particular identity on its visitors, so that everyone can feel welcome. A building that offers a balance between silence and encounter. Reflection and debate by students and employees play an essential role in this. The diversity of visitors coming together generates special exchanges of views and ideas by students and staff members.

In the main hall of the Zwijsen Building two artworks can be seen by Marc Mulders (painter, watercolorist, photographer, and stained-glass artist).

The building is named after Joannes Zwijsen, who in the middle of the 19th century played an important part in the emancipation of the – then still disadvantaged – Roman Catholic population in the Netherlands, especially by promoting the development of education and healthcare.

Multifunctional building

The building was thoroughly renovated in 2014 into a more multifunctional building.

  • The main hall (also 'quiet contemplation room') on the ground floor offers the opportunity to meditate or to pray, to read something, or just to sit in quiet contemplation. Every day, students, staff members and visitors to the university come to the Zwijsen Building to take some time for themselves.
    The main hall can also be booked for meetings by students and employees: see 'Reservations & contact'.
  • The foyer provides space to meet each other and have a quiet conversation.
  • A prayer room for Muslim students and -staff members to say their daily prayers is available on the first floor.

Visit the Zwijsen Building

You are most welcome to visit the Zwijsen Building.
The opening hours are:

  • every workday from 09:00 till 22:30  (9 am till 10.30 pm - free entry)
  • during weekends from 09:00 till 17:00 (9 am till 5 pm - entry by means of University card).

On weekdays, the building is free to visit throughout the day. For access at weekends with your University card you can obtain accreditation from Security (Vigilante Building).

The Zwijsen Building can also be visited online via Google Maps. It is possible to navigate the building online and view the layout.


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In addition to a number of regular meetings (see: 'Regular Activities'), the building also accommodates a wide variety of meetings organized by Academic Forum as well as by other departments and student organizations within the university.

For a survey of all activities and meetings in the Zwijsen Building, see the Calendar (pdf):

Regular activities

Here you'll find some information about meetings (and its organizations), that are organized on a more regularly basis:

Zenmeditation >>

On Monday nights, the Zwijsen Building is dedicated from 19:30 hours to meditation. Specifically, this involves Zen meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh: a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Zen master, head of a famous retreat center in France and peace activist. It is his life’s work to make the West aware of the value of ‘mindful living’, of ‘living at the present moment’.

The meetings consist of 20 minutes of guided meditation, 10 minutes of walking meditation and 20 minutes of silent meditation. After that, there will be an opportunity to exchange experiences. Sometimes there is chanting as well. For dates: see the calendar.
See also:

- Zen meditationgroups Netherlands and Belgium

- Sangha Tilburg

Anyone interested will be more than welcome: introduction for new interested people, every 1st Monday of the month.

Sign Up:

For more information, please contact:

- Joan Moonen, Tel. +31 (0)13 - 505 5334

- Ivan Nyklicek, Tel. +31 (0)13 - 466 2391

Silent meditation >>

Every Tuesday, there is an opportunity for group meditation at the Zwijsen Building at lunchtime. In our daily work we are often so absorbed by everything going on in our heads that we lose touch with the reality around us and with ourselves. We are not really present and seem to be sleepwalking. Meditation, with the focus on becoming aware of our bodies and breathing, puts us back in touch with the here and now and with ourselves. This creates energy, wakefulness and space.

The meditation lasts from 12:45 to 13:15 hours. At 12:30 hours there will be a brief instruction. You can bring your own mat and pillow, although pillows, stools and chairs are also available on site. The meditation is in the tradition of ‘Zen and Insight Meditation’ (Vipassana). Anyone interested will be more than welcome. For dates: see the calendar.

For more information, please contact:

Hervé Tijssen, tel. +31 (0)13 - 466 2745.

Mindfulness - Wake Up Tilburg>>

On Tuesday evening from 19:15 hrs. the Zwijsen building is dedicated to mindfulness, primarily in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and Zen master. It is his life's work to raise awareness in the Western world on "living here and now". On his initiative, Wake Up groups were established all over the world - groups in which young people can meditate together.

Wake Up Tilburg was established in the autumn of 2014. We meet every two weeks to meditate, to move together and share experiences. You're always welcome to join; everyone between the ages of 18 and 35 years is welcome, but if you are older you may naturally fit very well with the group. Feel free to join in an evening! Send an email in advance so we can provide guidance.

When: on Tuesdays in the odd weeks. From 19:15 hrs. we drink a cup of tea and at 19:30 hrs. we start until about 21:00 hrs.

Location: Zwijsen building - campus Tilburg University.

Requirements: meditation cushions and benches are present. You can possibly bring your own cushion or bench if you find comfortable.

Cost: Free!

See also:

For more information, please contact:

- Wake Up Tilburg, email:

Workshop 'Free your mind' >>

People often want to comply all the time with the opinions, standards and values of the (sub-) culture in which they live. As a result, there is insufficient space for creativity and authenticity. In some people, pressure to achieve even leads to insecurity, performance anxiety or other psychological problems. It would be a good thing if we briefly halted our daily business at regular times and savored the moment. This creates more space for free thinking and acting, for creativity, for a more open-minded and relaxed life.
This is exactly what happens during the ‘Free your mind’ meetings: savoring the moment. In various guided exercises, participants follow their curiosity and explore what is really going on. Even now, while reading this text, you can have an open and inquisitive look at the thoughts, feelings or behavior spontaneously arising within you. Just out of curiosity. Real curiosity is unselfish and thus leads to inner freedom.

DATES (Thursdays):

2018: September 6; October 11; November 1; December 13;

2019: January 17; February 7; March 7; April 4;May 2; June 6; July 4.

Time: 19:30 to 21:30 hours. Admission is free.

For more information, please contact:

- Ivan Nyklicek, tel. +31 (0)13 466 2391 / +31 (0)6-41434942.

Website: Aandachtcentrum Dit Moment (Dutch).

Muslim prayer >>

For Muslim students and -employees to say their daily prayers, there is a prayer room on the first floor of the Zwijsen Building (including ablution facilities for men and for women). Prayer meetings in connection with the Friday afternoon prayers (Salat-al-djuma) are held at the nearby mosques.

Student associations >>

The university has various student associations that regularly organize meetings with a religious and/or ethical theme.
Anyone who is interested can contact these associations.

Christian Students Association Via Fidei
Contact: Tel. +31 (0)6 3914 7273 - email

Christian Students Association Emèt Qenee (C.S.F.R.)
Contact: email

Christian Students Association Navigators Tilburg (N.S.T.)
Contact: email

Connect Tilburg is a Student Union for Internationals run by Dutch and International Christian students in Tilburg.
Contact: via the website.

Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Tilburg University.
Contact: e-mail

For a complete overview of all Tilburg University's student associations, see the website Student associations.

Student Chaplaincy Maranatha >>

Student Chaplaincy Maranatha is associated with Tilburg University. For more information, see

Reservations & contact

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Students and staff members of the university can book the Zwijsen Building for meetings or activities they are staging. These meetings must be related to Tilburg University and preferably concern subjects that contribute to greater awareness.

Examples include themes such as character building, personal development, ethics, philosophy, religion, meditation and forms of (personal) belief.

For reservations or more information, please contact:

Academic Forum (Marketing & Communication)

Anton Danen

Phone +31 (0)13- 466 3217 / Email: