Maredret Abbey

Denée, Belgium

Maredret Abbey is a Benedictine nunnery, located on the edge of Marèdret, a very small village in the hilly countryside to the south of Charleroi and Namur. The abbey was inaugurated with the installation of seven nuns in 1893, and the abbey church was constructed between 1898 and 1907.

The abbey's foundation was part of the wider monastic revival of the nineteenth century. The project to establish a community of Benedictine nuns at Maredret was set in motion by Agnès de Hemptinne, a member of a local family of aristocrats. Land was provided by the Desclée family, and the first stone was put in place on 5 August 1891. Building was completed only in 1936, however. The monastery comprises a compact collection of stone buildings in a neo-gothic style, under a traditional slate roof.

The abbey church, completed in 1907, was one of the final projects of the fashionable Gothic revival Gent-based architect Auguste Van Assche. The interior and the windows have been described as remarkable. Later buildings were the work of a succession of local architects. The site of 15 hectares is surrounded by a high wall of rough stone, enhanced with two medieval style towers.

The abbey has become focused increasingly on crafts. The nuns have an expertise in the art of Illuminated manuscript, which may be applied to documents marking important stages in individual Christian lives: baptism, religious confirmation or conversion, marriage and burial. Religious imagery is an important part of the abbey's on-going life, along with artisanal regional food products.

In 2016, the nuns of the abbey began brewing beer to raise funds for repairs and maintenance. This made them the first nuns to do so, as beer brewing is traditionally to purview of monks.



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Founded: 1893
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

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User Reviews

K W Mundstock (3 years ago)
It was a very beautiful architectural and historical tour, learning how people lived and worshiped in the middle ages. Unfortunately, in 2021 there will be a disconnect regarding the rights of visually impaired people using guide dogs in establishments open to the general public. I sincerely hope, and would love to have the opportunity, to help the right people at this facility with their education regarding the rights of guide dogs and other certified assistance dogs visiting their site. Otherwise a rather positive experience ... I would like to visit again, with my guide dog, in better circumstances
Daniel Avram (3 years ago)
Beautiful abbey and quiet and pittoresque landscape. At the abbey shop you can find a very tasty beer and beautiful handmade carts.
Godfrey Chika Uzor (3 years ago)
A good place to be with quite environment, retreat and conference rooms
Helmi Almassri (6 years ago)
Abbaye de Maredret is an ancient, holy, touristic and historical monastery (also known as l’Abbaye des saints Jean et Scolastique) is a monastery of Benedictine nuns, located on the edge of Maredret (fr), a very small village in the hilly countryside to the south of Charleroi and Namur, Belgium.
Misty Bourlart (Create Happiness) (8 years ago)
A beautiful abbey with very kind and welcoming nuns. Our monthly lace workshop is held in one of their rentable class rooms. It is always a joy to arrive at this historic place.
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