Gertrude of Nivelles was born in 626 to Pippin I of Landen, mayor of the palace of the Austrasian kingdom, and Ita, his wife. After her mother founded a religious house at Nivelles, Gertrude became the first abbess, where she oversaw the monastery until her death in 659. The Irish-influenced double monastery became an important centre for the Pippinid (and later Carolingian) dynasty.