La Cambre Abbey

Brussels, Belgium

The Abbey of La Cambre or Ter Kameren Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey in Ixelles, Brussels. The abbey church is a catholic parish of the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels and home to a community of Norbertine canons while other parts of the monastery house the headquarters of the Belgian National Geographic Institute and La Cambre, a prestigious visual arts school.

The abbey was founded about 1196, by its patroness Gisèle, with the support of the monastic community of the abbey of Villers, following the Cistercian rule. Henry I, Duke of Brabant donated the Étangs d'Ixelles, a water mill, and the domaine of the monastery. The Abbaye de la Chambre de Notre-Dame, hence La Cambre, remained under the spiritual guidance of Villers, one of the most important Cistercian communities.

Saint Boniface of Brussels (1182–1260), a native of Ixelles, canon of Sainte-Gudule (future cathedral of Brussels), who taught theology at the University of Paris and was made bishop of Lausanne (1231), lived eighteen years in the abbey and is interred in the church. The mystic leper saint Alix lived in the community at the same epoch.

During the numerous wars of the 16th and 17th centuries, the abbey was largely destroyed, but it was rebuilt in the 18th century, in the French form it largely retains.

The abbey was suppressed at the French Revolution. Today's buildings are from the 18th century. The simple abbey church houses Albert Bouts' early 16th-century The Mocking of Christ. The cloister adjoins the abbey church and the refectory. The 18th-century abbesses' residence, with its cour d'honneur and formal gardens, has preserved the presbytery and the stables and other dependencies. The terraced garden and formal clipped bosquets were restored in the 18th-century manner starting in 1924.

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Details

Founded: c. 1196
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marco Barilari (3 years ago)
A peacefully place inside a chaotic city, beautiful gardens to take a walk or sit on a bench while enjoying a bit of green.
Viv T U (3 years ago)
It's a beautiful abbey with nice surroundings and well conserved. There's a visual arts school aswell as a historical place.
Antoine Briffaux (4 years ago)
Wonderful place to walk around in Brussels. During the summer there are activities and food trucks making it a great place to chill out.
Carlos Ebrecht (4 years ago)
This is a beautiful park to walk around with close friends or your loved one. It's quite with beautiful scenery and nice spots to be alone. The church is worth visiting, specially if the choir is reheaar i7
Joël Harkes (4 years ago)
Beautiful place and park to visit. I think it's home to a Catholic Church inside on Sundays and housing for arts students and University. The park doesn't really escape the city like the forest just south of it does. But it's it's build in a lower part of the city so it does shield it a bit (it's like a reverse some shape/valley).
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