Year of 2017

Villers Abbey in Villers-la-Ville, Belgium

According to local history, a small group of Cistercian monks and lay brothers founded Villers Abbey in 1146 when they arrived in Villers-la-Ville and, inspired by Saint Bernard, began laying the foundation for a monastery. After centuries of construction and reconstruction, the monks abandoned the place in the late 18th century and it fell to ruins. Today the ruins are such an important part of the local culture, the grounds are open for tours and the monks’ beer recipe has been revived at the new brewery on the grounds.

Villers Abbey is an ancient Cistercian abbey located in the town of Villers-la-Ville, in the Walloon Brabant province of Wallonia, one piece of the Wallonia’s Major Heritage. Founded in 1146, the abbey was abandoned in 1796. Most of the site has since fallen into ruins.