Grandpré Abbey

Gesves, Belgium

Grandpré Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey in Wallonia located at Faulx-les-Tombes (in the present commune of Gesves). The only remains of the abbey are the gatehouse and the attached range at the main entrance, the farm buildings and the mill, once powered by the Samson brook, which crosses the site.

The abbey was founded in 1231 as a daughter house of Villers-la-Ville Abbey, of the filiation of Clairvaux, on a site where a grange of Villers-la-Ville had stood since the early 13th century, by Henry I, Count of Vianden and Marquis of Namur, and his wife Margaret de Courtenay in memory of her brother Philip II, Marquis of Namur, who had died in 1226 during the Albigensian Crusade. The church was dedicated in 1232.

Grandpré was a small community and never thrived or achieved prominence. The number of monks was never more than 20, even though the abbey had a dozen farms in the environs. Nor did Grandpré found any daughter houses. Some restoration work took place in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1740 the abbey was plundered by Dutch troops. At the end of the 18th century the farm buildings were rebuilt.

In 1796, the abbey was suppressed and sold as national property to Jean-Baptiste Paulée, a financier from Paris and Douai. The conventual buildings had been demolished by 1807.

In 1992 and 1997, the façade and roof of the mill and a subterranean channel were declared protected monuments, as had happened to the gatehouse in 1956.

The remaining buildings, which are Baroque and Rococo in style, have been restored and are privately maintained. The abbey is now in private ownership and the buildings are not open to the public, but the gardens are accessible on demand, for a minimal contribution to the proprietor for his or her charitable purposes.



Your name


Founded: 1231
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

More Information


4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

laurence delaruelle (7 years ago)
Owl visit for Heritage Day
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week


The Pilgrimage Church of Wies (Wieskirche) is an oval rococo church, designed in the late 1740s by Dominikus Zimmermann. It is located in the foothills of the Alps in the municipality of Steingaden.

The sanctuary of Wies is a pilgrimage church extraordinarily well-preserved in the beautiful setting of an Alpine valley, and is a perfect masterpiece of Rococo art and creative genius, as well as an exceptional testimony to a civilization that has disappeared.

The hamlet of Wies, in 1738, is said to have been the setting of a miracle in which tears were seen on a simple wooden figure of Christ mounted on a column that was no longer venerated by the Premonstratensian monks of the Abbey. A wooden chapel constructed in the fields housed the miraculous statue for some time. However, pilgrims from Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and even Italy became so numerous that the Abbot of the Premonstratensians of Steingaden decided to construct a splendid sanctuary.