pxd.jpgAbbaye de la Paix-Dieu
©Abbaye de la Paix-Dieu

Land of remarkable abbeys

Discover the serenity of the Abbey de la Paix-Dieu, the elegance of the Abbey de Flône, the tranquility of the Abbey du Val Notre Dame, and the authenticity of the Abbey de la Solières. These abbeys are set in magnificent natural surroundings and have a rich and fascinating history. Explore these heritage treasures and let yourself be enchanted by the timeless magic of the Terres-de-Meuse abbeys.

Abbaye de la Paix-Dieu

The founding of the Paix-Dieu abbey is part of a feminine mystical movement that left its mark on the diocese of Liège in the early 13th century. Around 1238, a group of Cistercian nuns from Val-Benoît in Liège established a new monastery in the village of Oleye (Waremme). In 1244, the abbey was moved to a valley site, at the confluence of several streams. The current buildings, in Mosan style, date from the 17th and 18th centuries, succeeding constructions that had suffered fire, looting, war or major alterations.

La Paix-Dieu presents an architectural unity due to the use of traditional materials and techniques such as brick, Mosan limestone and slate. However, after being sold as national property in 1797 and the dispersal of the nuns, the conventual buildings suffered considerable damage. The cloister and main courtyard were dismantled to salvage materials, the church was converted into a barn, the abbess’ wing into a distillery and then a stable, and the guest quarters were abandoned. The mill and brewery continued to operate, but the latter was demolished in 1878, and the mill was abandoned in the 1950s.

However, in the years 1992-1993, conservation measures were taken by the Walloon Region to protect the site. Since 1997, the buildings have been progressively restored and refurbished to house the “Centre de perfectionnement aux métiers du patrimoine”, managed by the Agence wallonne du Patrimoine and also housing the office of the Journées du Patrimoine Secretariat.


Did you know?

The name Paix-Dieu is said to have originated from a remarkable event of reconciliation between Arnould de Corswarem and his brother, when they were on the verge of a fratricidal duel. Arnould, unarmed, invoked peace in the name of God from his brother, who granted his request. After being spared thanks to divine intervention, Arnould devoted himself entirely to God, becoming a Franciscan Friar Minor and bequeathing his inheritance to found a monastery of Cistercian nuns.

Flône Abbey

The former Abbey of Flône was a monastery of Augustinian canons located in Amay, on the banks of the Meuse, surrounded by dense vegetation and nestled between rocks. Founded in the early 11th century, the monastery grew rapidly thanks to the gifts and benefactions of various counts. The canons developed remarkable industrial and agricultural activities.

Unfortunately, the monastery was damaged by the Calvinist troops of the Prince of Orange in 1568 as a result of the Wars of Religion. However, during the Renaissance in the 17the and 18the centuries, new buildings were erected, forming a complex around two courtyards, with St. Matthew’s Church at the center. At this time, the abbey also acquired a vast estate and related rights.

In 1796, the abbey ceased to exist when its property was confiscated and publicly sold by the French revolutionary powers. The site was then transformed into a private château, and in 1921 the Dames de l’Instruction Chrétienne bought the entire complex as their main home, creating the Institut de l’Instruction Chrétienne. Over the years, the institute opened up to co-education and welcomed day students. Annexes were built, and an enclosed footbridge over the Roman causeway was erected to link up with the 1905 “Château Goffart”. A sports hall completes the complex.

Flône Abbey is privately owned. We ask you to exercise courtesy and discretion during your visit. Access to the interior of the buildings is strictly forbidden without authorization.

Saint-Mathieu Church

  • a 12th-century bluestone baptismal font,
  • very rich church furnishings including stalls,
  • paintings by the painter Fisen,
  • four 16th- and 18th-century funerary slabs
  • the abbey church organs. Classified as Wallonia’s exceptional heritage, they were built around 1710 by the Malines organ builder Karel Dillens.

Free tour of the church Monday to Sunday, 8am to 5:30pm. With some exceptions, please check with Sister Eva on 0486/605 450

Val Notre-Dame Abbey

The Val Notre-Dame d’Antheit Abbey was a monastery of Cistercian nuns founded around 1200. Prior to its foundation, the site had been a thriving sickhouse in the 7th century, and by 1180 a religious community had been established there. A church was built here in 1218, and the monastery enjoyed a period of growth in the 13th century.

However, the monastery went through periods of decline and was affected by wars and the French Revolution, leading to its sale. Today, the remaining buildings of the former abbey have been converted into a boarding school for students, where they can follow general or technical humanities.

The remains of the former abbey include a monumental gateway with turrets, a large main building, a barn, a dovecote and gardens. The hostelry, abbot’s dwelling, dovecote and abbey farm are among the listed parts of the site.

The monumental gateway bears the initials N.W. (Nicole de Waha, 1624-1648) and the date 1629.

Solières Abbey

The origins of the château de l’abbaye de Solières date back to 1214, when it served as the seat of a mixed brotherhood of the St. Augustine (1230-1261) and Cistercian (1230 to the end of the Ancien Régime) orders. Over time, the east wing of the cloister was replaced by the present château, which was remodeled as a convent building during the second half of the 17th century.

After the convent was abolished in 1793, the building reverted to a château and, in 1807, became the property of the Receiver General of the Ourthe department, Charles Desoer, who also owned the Château de Kinkempois near Liège.

Today, the abbey palace is known as the “Château de l’Abbaye de Solières”. Since 1984, all the buildings and surrounding area have been listed as part of Wallonia’s real estate heritage.

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