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Villers Abbey
Explore more nearby places in Belgium

If you fancy visiting old buildings and cultural heritage, Villers Abbey in Belgium is your destination.

Located between Brussels and Charleroi on more than 30 hectares of land, Abbaye des Villers welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year.

Are you the next one to come around? Probably, after we first give you all the astonishing details about the place.

The Authentic History of Villers Abbey

The Abbey was founded at the initiative of Gauthier de Marbais in 1146 when the knight and his mother invited the monks of the Abbey of Clairvaux to establish a new Cistercian Abbey at Villers.

The construction of the Gothic building took more than 100 years, while the church itself took 70 years to build. Hundreds of monks inhabited the Abbey back then, and its lands expanded on thousands of hectares. This was the first golden age of Abbaye de Villers. 

In the 16th-17th centuries, invasions started, and monks had to abandon the place several times.

The 18th century was the second golden age of the Abbey when neoclassical buildings were constructed and the old medieval ones renovated. The Abbot’s Palace and its gardens were built during that period.

After the French Revolution, the Abbey started to decay. The buildings were looted, and the precious objects were taken away. Only ruins left under the natural forces. 

The Modern History of Villers Abbey

In 1855, the railway line between Ottignies and Charleroi was built, and it passed through the Abbot’s Palace gardens. At that time, people didn’t know about the history and the meaning of the place.

Later in the 19th century, the State engaged in significant restoration activities, and the ruins were classified as a historic site and a monument.

At the end of the 20th century, the last restoration was initiated, and eventually, the Abbey was classified as an exceptional heritage in 1992.

Visiting Villers Abbey

Today, visitors can examine over 900 years of history on the marvelous ruins. One can also find lots of activities such as guided visits, family walks, open-air concerts, theatre shows, and exhibitions.

Visitors can see the well-preserved mill, the cellars, the refectory, the guest house, the brewing house, and even a prison.

On Abbey’s land, one can take a stroll and enjoy the four beautiful gardens: The Abbot’s Garden, the Monks’ Garden, The Medicinal Herb Garden, and the Pharmacy Garden.

  • The Abbot’s Garden is made in the French garden style with roughly 60 culinary species of aromatic plants. 
  • The Monks’ Garden expands on 350 square meters, surrounded by walls. Despite the walls, the spot is an intimate place with exposure to the sun. It includes approximately 250 different species of plants, some of which are little known or rarely found.
  • The Medicinal Herb Garden is designed in medieval style. Research was done, and the garden was planned based on historical documents about medieval gardens.
  • The Pharmacy Garden consists of two terraces and is located on the way from the hill to the Abbey itself.  

At the end of the day, the gardens’ purpose is not merely to provide beauty and wellness but also to remind the visitors of nature’s medical forces.

Ready to explore? Don’t miss one of Belgium’s biggest archaeological sites – Villers Abbey – Wallonia’s exceptional cultural heritage!

Villers la Ville

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Villers la Ville

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Explore more nearby places in Belgium
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If you fancy visiting old buildings and cultural heritage, Villers Abbey in Belgium is your destination.

Located between Brussels and Charleroi on more than 30 hectares of land, Abbaye des Villers welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year.

Are you the next one to come around? Probably, after we first give you all the astonishing details about the place.

The Authentic History of Villers Abbey

The Abbey was founded at the initiative of Gauthier de Marbais in 1146 when the knight and his mother invited the monks of the Abbey of Clairvaux to establish a new Cistercian Abbey at Villers.

The construction of the Gothic building took more than 100 years, while the church itself took 70 years to build. Hundreds of monks inhabited the Abbey back then, and its lands expanded on thousands of hectares. This was the first golden age of Abbaye de Villers. 

In the 16th-17th centuries, invasions started, and monks had to abandon the place several times.

The 18th century was the second golden age of the Abbey when neoclassical buildings were constructed and the old medieval ones renovated. The Abbot’s Palace and its gardens were built during that period.

After the French Revolution, the Abbey started to decay. The buildings were looted, and the precious objects were taken away. Only ruins left under the natural forces. 

The Modern History of Villers Abbey

In 1855, the railway line between Ottignies and Charleroi was built, and it passed through the Abbot’s Palace gardens. At that time, people didn’t know about the history and the meaning of the place.

Later in the 19th century, the State engaged in significant restoration activities, and the ruins were classified as a historic site and a monument.

At the end of the 20th century, the last restoration was initiated, and eventually, the Abbey was classified as an exceptional heritage in 1992.

Visiting Villers Abbey

Today, visitors can examine over 900 years of history on the marvelous ruins. One can also find lots of activities such as guided visits, family walks, open-air concerts, theatre shows, and exhibitions.

Visitors can see the well-preserved mill, the cellars, the refectory, the guest house, the brewing house, and even a prison.

On Abbey’s land, one can take a stroll and enjoy the four beautiful gardens: The Abbot’s Garden, the Monks’ Garden, The Medicinal Herb Garden, and the Pharmacy Garden.

  • The Abbot’s Garden is made in the French garden style with roughly 60 culinary species of aromatic plants. 
  • The Monks’ Garden expands on 350 square meters, surrounded by walls. Despite the walls, the spot is an intimate place with exposure to the sun. It includes approximately 250 different species of plants, some of which are little known or rarely found.
  • The Medicinal Herb Garden is designed in medieval style. Research was done, and the garden was planned based on historical documents about medieval gardens.
  • The Pharmacy Garden consists of two terraces and is located on the way from the hill to the Abbey itself.  

At the end of the day, the gardens’ purpose is not merely to provide beauty and wellness but also to remind the visitors of nature’s medical forces.

Ready to explore? Don’t miss one of Belgium’s biggest archaeological sites – Villers Abbey – Wallonia’s exceptional cultural heritage!

Villers la Ville

Where is it on the Map?

Villers la Ville

Explore more places in Europe

See more in Can't retrieve term. In case if you changed taxonomy slug for this term, please update widget settings to use new taxonomy slug.
Explore more nearby places in Belgium

If you fancy visiting old buildings and cultural heritage, Villers Abbey in Belgium is your destination.

Located between Brussels and Charleroi on more than 30 hectares of land, Abbaye des Villers welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year.

Are you the next one to come around? Probably, after we first give you all the astonishing details about the place.

The Authentic History of Villers Abbey

The Abbey was founded at the initiative of Gauthier de Marbais in 1146 when the knight and his mother invited the monks of the Abbey of Clairvaux to establish a new Cistercian Abbey at Villers.

The construction of the Gothic building took more than 100 years, while the church itself took 70 years to build. Hundreds of monks inhabited the Abbey back then, and its lands expanded on thousands of hectares. This was the first golden age of Abbaye de Villers. 

In the 16th-17th centuries, invasions started, and monks had to abandon the place several times.

The 18th century was the second golden age of the Abbey when neoclassical buildings were constructed and the old medieval ones renovated. The Abbot’s Palace and its gardens were built during that period.

After the French Revolution, the Abbey started to decay. The buildings were looted, and the precious objects were taken away. Only ruins left under the natural forces. 

The Modern History of Villers Abbey

In 1855, the railway line between Ottignies and Charleroi was built, and it passed through the Abbot’s Palace gardens. At that time, people didn’t know about the history and the meaning of the place.

Later in the 19th century, the State engaged in significant restoration activities, and the ruins were classified as a historic site and a monument.

At the end of the 20th century, the last restoration was initiated, and eventually, the Abbey was classified as an exceptional heritage in 1992.

Visiting Villers Abbey

Today, visitors can examine over 900 years of history on the marvelous ruins. One can also find lots of activities such as guided visits, family walks, open-air concerts, theatre shows, and exhibitions.

Visitors can see the well-preserved mill, the cellars, the refectory, the guest house, the brewing house, and even a prison.

On Abbey’s land, one can take a stroll and enjoy the four beautiful gardens: The Abbot’s Garden, the Monks’ Garden, The Medicinal Herb Garden, and the Pharmacy Garden.

  • The Abbot’s Garden is made in the French garden style with roughly 60 culinary species of aromatic plants. 
  • The Monks’ Garden expands on 350 square meters, surrounded by walls. Despite the walls, the spot is an intimate place with exposure to the sun. It includes approximately 250 different species of plants, some of which are little known or rarely found.
  • The Medicinal Herb Garden is designed in medieval style. Research was done, and the garden was planned based on historical documents about medieval gardens.
  • The Pharmacy Garden consists of two terraces and is located on the way from the hill to the Abbey itself.  

At the end of the day, the gardens’ purpose is not merely to provide beauty and wellness but also to remind the visitors of nature’s medical forces.

Ready to explore? Don’t miss one of Belgium’s biggest archaeological sites – Villers Abbey – Wallonia’s exceptional cultural heritage!

Villers la Ville

Where is it on the Map?

Villers la Ville

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