Abbey at Villers (Belgium)


This was a Cistercian abbey founded in 1146 and active until the French revolution. It reached its height and fame in the 13th Century. It’s estimated that as many as one hundred monks and three hundred lay brothers lived here. Sleeping and eating accommodations were separate for the two groups. You can walk the tight passageways from the dormitories to the church, visit the rooms where they held meetings and stored holy books and vestments. The church remains a beautiful structure even in ruin.

The Cistercian order was known for its dedication to a life of manual labor and self-sufficiency. Abbeys supported themselves through agriculture and ale-brewing. This abbey had massive land holdings throughout the region.






Filed under travel

9 responses to “Abbey at Villers (Belgium)

  1. Philip Shiell

    Great pics.


  2. reanolanmartin

    Just gorgeous! I have followed the life and works of Thomas Merton for many years (also a Cistercian), so really enjoyed seeing this bit of history on the European side. Thanks so much for sharing! xo


  3. Lovely photos. The abbey is hauntingly beautiful.


  4. It seems like every abbey/ruins we’ve seen in Europe are beautiful. Great photos. Thank you, Ellis.


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