This is a tourist stop you mustn’t miss if you’re in the Pays de Herve: the superb Val-Dieu Abbey welcomes you in Aubel, with its brewery and authentic special beers that have a distinctive character.
It’s a little gem that opens its doors to you in the middle of nature, rich with all the facets that you’ll discover. Notre-Dame du Val-Dieu Abbey is a landmark in the region! A spiritual high place founded in 1216 by Cistercian monks from the Netherlands. Legend has it that at the time, the valley, which was then uninhabited, was so hostile that people called it ‘Devil’s Valley’. This did not however discourage the monks who set up there and warded away evil by renaming it ‘God’s Valley’, which then gave rise later to the Val-Dieu Abbey. One must believe that these good auspices were beneficial because it’s the only Belgian Abbey to have survived the French Revolution.
Exceptional, traditional Belgian beers
Today, the Val-Dieu Christian community occupies the location and oversees its destiny. And what a destiny, because it’s bustling with activity! One should add that the Cistercian orders were known for their brewing talent, so it's natural that the abbey’s monks should have developed beer production, with very elaborate recipes. At the time, brewing was linked to the need to make water drinkable, to avoid diseases such as cholera or typhoid. Now, brewing is an essential part of the location and its beers have become an institution! Aside the cloister, the grounds and the basilica, don’t miss a visit to the brewing room. Pretty signposted walks await you too before the final stop at the shop to take some beer away with you!
Copyright pictures: Visit Ardenne - Visit Wallonia
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