The Trappist Abbey of Rochefort or Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy, which belongs to the Cistercians of Strict Observance, is located in Rochefort in the province of Namur. The abbey is famous for its spiritual life and its brewery, which is one of few Trappist beer breweries in the world. Life in the abbey is characterised by prayer, reading and manual work, the three basic elements of Trappist life.
Around 1230, Gilles de Walcourt, count of Rochefort founded a monastery for Cistercian nuns called Secours de Notre-Dame. In 1464 Louis de la Marck ordered the nuns to leave the monastery which had decayed and they were replaced by monks. The monastery was the latest Daughter-house of the abbey of Abbey of Cîteaux. During the Eighty Years War the abbey was ravaged by the Protestant armies of the Seventeen Provinces (1568) and the Austrian armies of John of Austria (1577). Around 1595, the first brewery was founded within the abbey.
In the 17th century the abbey suffered from war, famine and the plague. On 30 April 1650, an army from Lorraine, led by baron Châtelet, invaded the abbey. The monks had to flee to Marche, as well as in 1652 and 1653.
In 1789 the French revolutionary army invaded the Austrian Netherlands, and in 1797 the abbey was closed and sold to Lucien-Joseph Poncelet. Poncelet demolished the abbey around 1805 and converted it to a farm. Material of the abbey was used for buildings in Rochefort.
On 11 October 1887, father Anselmus Judong from the Trappist Abbey of Achel came to the old abbey and on 21 December 1887 the buildings were bought by the monks of Achel. The abbey was restored and new buildings were raised. A new brewery was founded, but it would take until 1952 for the brewery to produce enough beer to be sold.
Brewing is the main source of income for the monastery since the 16th century. The brewery was renovated in 1952 and produces high fermentation beer. The Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance is known for their seclusion and the brewery is not accessible to the public.
On 29 December 2010 a large fire destroyed a large part of the abbey. Though the blaze has destroyed much of the building's timber structure, the monks escaped unharmed and the flames did not damage the beer producing facilities.References:
Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.
The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.
The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.
Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.
The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.
The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.