The location is positioned within the territory of Gesves, within the village of Faulx-les-Tombes. Positioned between Namur, Assesse and Andenne, this city in a pure setting is wealthy in a different heritage.
By Frédéric Marchesani
The entity has 9 monuments and eight listed websites, one of which, the fortress of Haltinne, is included on the record of outstanding heritage of Wallonia. Amongst these architectural treasures nestled within the coronary heart of nature is another gem, the previous abbey of Grandpré.
It was in 1231 that the affluent and prestigious Cistercian abbey of Villers-la-Ville based a new non secular establishment on the banks of the Samson. On the request of the Depend of Namur, who will richly endow the place, monks first set up a priory there. Later, on an unknown date, the location acquired its autonomy and have become an abbey.
Much less well-known or flourishing than other abbeys such as Aulne or Orval, Grandpré has round twenty monks and has as many farms within the area. Following the normal system of filiation in power among the many Cistercians, it stays a daughter abbey of Villers-la-Ville.
As is typically the case, the buildings were solely rebuilt within the 18th century, some of which were beneath the abbey of Etienne Defrenne (1761-1774). On the finish of the century, after the annexation of our territories to the French Republic, property was confiscated, nationalized, after which offered. The outdated abbey turns into a farm after being ransacked. Burned down, it misplaced a giant a part of its buildings: the abbey church, the cloister and the abbot’s quarter.
Uncover the locations
The abbey stands within the coronary heart of a splendid and restful area. The entire is accessed by a gate which results in the farm, organized alongside a rectangular courtyard. To the correct stands the outdated home, whereas to the left, there is an outdated automotive shed characterized by the presence of two gates.
The abbey farm was constructed within the 18th century, primarily in bricks and blue stone on a limestone base. To the east are lengthy stables, which are among the many most current components of the location. To the west, there is a second and large giant barn, courting from the top of the seventeenth century. Within the extension, on the correct, we see other stables from the mid-18th century, grafted onto the doorway wing of the outdated abbey.
Outdoors the farm correct is the outdated abbey mill, whose L-shaped buildings have been altered several occasions. Flourishing beneath the Ancien Régime, the Abbey of Grandpré shortly acquired a Cistercian hydraulic system, an necessary attribute of websites belonging to this monastic order. The location additionally included a forge, positioned three kilometers downstream. Fully renovated in 2012, the mill was reassigned to accommodate a guesthouse.
The abbey is a part of a grandiose web site of ten hectares together with a French-style park of three hectares, fitted out within the Nineties by the René Pechère & Companions workplace. Famend Belgian panorama architect, René Pechère (1908-2002) is the writer of greater than 900 non-public and public gardens, together with the botanical park and the Mont des Arts gardens in Brussels. In Grandpré, they partly occupy the area of the outdated convent buildings that have disappeared.
Centered on the porch tower, a first common backyard is made up of six lawns studded with cubes of yew. The middle of the primary 4 flowerbeds is marked by a round fountain basin with a limestone rim and a vertical jet. Past the common backyard, tall yew columns outline a area completed in a semicircle within the middle of which a paving reproduces the motif of a Greek cross, a free evocation of the plan of the disappeared church.
Additional on, the park turns into landscaped. There is a pond with pure banks. To the south of the buildings, a giant orchard subsequent to a vegetable backyard, protected by a display screen of greenery… A hymn to nature.
The stays of the Samson canal
The Cistercians, specialised in hydraulic engineering, typically settled in marshy areas which they drained by constructing dams, canals and mills. The chosen web site is positioned alongside the Samson, a small river within the Namur Condroz, a tributary on the correct financial institution of the Meuse into which it flows on the degree of Namêche (Andenne).
With a purpose to set up a mill and a forge in Grandpré, the monks created a attain and channeled the Samson. A part of this canal passes beneath the convent buildings. We can guess the route on the other aspect of the rue de l’Abbaye and behind the location, additional than the farm.
Positioned rue de l’Abbaye 2 in 5340 Faulx-les-Tombes, the abbey can’t be visited. The gardens are often open for occasions such as Heritage Days or the Été Mosan competition. The gîte du moulin, accessible all 12 months spherical, is ideally suited for exploring the area and getting away from it all in nature.