Tuesday, June 13, 2017

THE "NEW" ABBEY OF VILLERS LA VILLE

There was a medical flower exhibition in the Abbey of Villers la Ville . It was a beautiful day and my friend who is very interested in these kind of flowers wanted to see this exhibition.

To my surprise the Abbey entrance which had been a door, leading into a little room to buy the entrance tickets and then immediately into the ruins, had completely changed. Since June 14, 2016 there is a new one very interesting, click here New entrance and pathway




The view over the abbey which you never had before unless you would have taken an helicopter, is now there just in front of you and it is indeed very impressive 



I couldn't take pictures of the little shop and counter it was too dark, but this thick book in Latin was displayed at the entrance.

We took the lift and went to the 3rd floor where the wooden path started over the water for the mill



as you can see here



and the mill over the street down into the ruins.



A view from the path



Then we entered the













There was also a photo exhibition from about fifteen professional photographers, European (including Belgian) and African photographers. These photographers - plastic artists and / or photojournalists - tell the stories and the stakes of regions of the world unknown by their objectives.



This was my favourite picture !







It was wonderful to walk through the ruins which seem to whisper their secrets. On large grass spaces there were picnic tables for people who want to spend the whole day here.



There was also an exhibition of dolls, always the same but painted by different painters, for hospitalized children in the world.



I choose the pirate and Ilona loved this doll

After nearly 2 hours of walking around, we left and had a beer in the Brasserie opposite of the Abbey.




Tuesday, June 06, 2017

THE ORVAL ABBEYE

May 5, 2017

Each year Waterloo organizes a trip for the seniors of the city. It's always very nice and we visit interesting places. We start early mornings at 7 am, have a coffee/croissant break, and then the visit, lunch and another visit where we usually have free time. This year we visited the Orval Abbey. 

In 1070, a group of Benedictine monks from Calabria Italy settled here, and began the construction of a church and a monastery, but after some forty years, they moved away again. They were replaced by a community of Canons Regular, who completed the construction work: the abbey church was consecrated on 30 September 1124.

In 1132, a group of Cistercian monks from Trois-Fontaines Abbey in Champagne arrived, and the two groups formed a single community within the Cistercian Order.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the various wars between France and various neighbouring regions (Burgundy, Spain) had an important impact on Orval. At one stage a foundry was established on the site. In 1637, during the Thirty Years' War, the abbey was pillaged and burnt by French mercenaries.

In the 17th century, the abbey was converted to the Trappist branch of the Cistercian order, but reverted to the Rule of the main order in around 1785.

In 1793, during the French Revolution, the abbey was completely burnt down by French forces, in retaliation for the hospitality it had provided to Austrian troops, and the community dispersed.

In 1887, the land and ruins were acquired by the Harenne family. They donated the lands to the Cistercian order in 1926. Between 1926 and 1948, the new monastery was constructed, and in 1935 Orval regained the rank of abbey. On 8 September 1948, the new church was consecrated.

The ruins of the medieval buildings remain on the site and are available to view.

Today there are 14 monks living here. The Abbey has a brewery and their beer is very famous. They also produce a special cheese.



The Abbey model we saw in the museum



The following pictures show the Abbey as it stands today










This oak tree is 300 years old



Very nice sculptures stood in the park

From here we could go inside the ruins of the old Abbey



This miniature replica gives you an idea of the whole site








Inside the ruins there are plenty of secret hallways and some we could visit leading to a museum which showed old pieces of tableware, vases etc. Unfortunately the light was not good and I couldn't take pictures.





Inside the abbey







Some parts were well preserved considering the violent past of this old Abbey





This is the new part again







On the other side of the Abbey



The entrance to the church, where the monks held a mass







The church



The entrance or exit



A last glance before going back to the bus

It is a real interesting place I have seen some painters sitting there and paint the Abbey.


For those who want to know more about the abbey here is the link to their Website


Linking to Our World





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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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