Did you know that the only Apollinaire museum is located in Stavelot?
Stavelot Abbey, in the province of Liège, was one of the oldest monasteries in Belgium. Founded by the Benedictines in 651, it is associated with that of Malmedy, namely the same abbot decided the fate of the two abbeys, referred to as a "double monastery". Nowadays, the site is home to three museums: the Historical Museum of the Principality of Stavelot-Malmedy, the Spa-Francorchamps Racetrack Museum, and, finally, the only museum in the world devoted to Guillaume Apollinaire!
Why here? Because, when he was 19 years old, the author of “Calligrammes” spent several months of his life in the city of the Blancs Moussis. To be exact, from mid-July to 5 October 1899. This short stay in Stavelot made a mark on the life and work of Guillaume Apollinaire, also known as Wilhelm de Kostrowitzky, and the experiences he had there were decisive to the evolution of his work. Penniless, Guillaume spent his days taking long walks, gathering mushrooms, taking part in local festivities, studying Walloon, visiting cafés, taking part in the life of the local residents, and had a relationship with the young Maria Dubois, his first "muse", who died on 9 February 1919, namely three months to the day after her beloved.
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