Maredsous Abbey blows out 150 candles
The neo-Gothic Maredsous Abbey stands proudly in the wooded and rolling valley of the Molignée, a tributary of the Meuse. Located in the municipality of Denée (province of Namur), it is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
On 15 October 1872, the first monks from Beuron in southern Germany, arrived in Maredsous. They started to live there following the 6th-century monastic rule of St. Benedict of Nursia. Prayer, work, hospitality, missionary work and scientific and biblical research were at the heart of their lives.
The collection of buildings in local limestone reveals great architectural unity in a spiritual atmosphere of peace and devotion. Visitors are invited to meditate and stroll around this beautiful environment. The church's double towers attract a great deal of attention. The rooms of the monastery house, among other things, a library with no fewer than 500,000 volumes and a publishing house. There are also many outbuildings, including a farmhouse, a cheese factory, the former craft school and St. Joseph's visitor centre, with a bookshop, gift shop, play area and cafeteria, where you can enjoy the abbey's delicious cheese and beer.
Of course, the Benedictine tradition is kept alive. Maredsous Abbey is also a cultural centre. The first Latin-French missal and, in 1950, a French translation of the Bible were published at Maredsous. Today, software for reading and studying the Bible is developed at the site.