Villers Abbey

Daughter monasteries

Monastery Grandpré Monastery Hemiksem convent Moulins

Abbey of Villers -la -Ville is a former Cistercian monastery in Belgium. It is located in the town of Villers -la -Ville in the province of Walloon Brabant.


The monastery was founded in 1146 as a daughter house of the primary Clairvaux Abbey of St.. Bernard of Clairvaux founded. First abbot of Clairvaux Convention was seconded by Laurent, but soon resigned, his successor Gerard. The construction of the monastery was begun under Abbot Karl, who had come from the monastery Himmerod. The abbey had its heyday in the 13th century, when Arnulf of Louvain was abbot. During this time, the monastery belonged to about 100 monks and 300 lay brothers. Daughter abbeys of Villers were Grandpré monastery, convent and monastery Hemiksem Moulins. In 1796 the abbey was dissolved; then served the building as a quarry. In the 19th century, was built through the grounds of the former convent a train track. It was only in 1893 began the restoration process that has not yet been completed. The ruins are the largest of a monastery in Belgium.

Plant and buildings

The monastery was completed at the beginning of the 13th century. The approximately 90 meters long church ( one of the largest of the Order ) is in the north of the exam. The completed until about 1220, seven parts polygonal choir and the 42 meter long transept with three side chapels on the east side and a ship in the west are the oldest Gothic buildings in the former duchy of Brabant. Choir and northern transept have round oculi. The neunjochige nave was completed towards 1255 ( according to other sources 1273). With pointed arches, resting on cylindrical columns, separated from the aisles. Only the first two Langhausjoche have preserved their vaults. Against 1720, the church a new, now only partially preserved west facade received in period style. Around the same time the abbot's house was built. The exam is to the right of the church. The cloister was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries, the chapter house in the 18th century completely rebuilt. The two-aisled refectory of the 13th century is 30 meters long and 14 meters wide. The vaulted cellar of the Konversenbaus is almost completely preserved. From the outbuildings of the brewery 's name from the 13th century.