Bonne-Espérance Abbey

Estinnes, Belgium

Bonne-Espérance Abbey was a Premonstratensian abbey that existed from 1130 to the end of the 18th century. The abbey owed its foundation to the conversion of William, the only son and heir of Rainard, the Knight of Croix. William had followed the heretical teaching of Tanchelm, but Norbert of Xanten brought him back to Roman Catholicism. In gratitude his parents, Rainard and Beatrix, gave land to Norbert for the foundation of an abbey at Ramignies, while William followed Norbert to Prémontré. Ramignies having been found unsuitable, Odo, the first abbot, led his young colony to another locality in the neighbourhood.

In the time of the 46th and last abbot of Bonne-Espérance, Bonaventure Daublain, the abbey was twice occupied and pillaged by the French Revolutionary Army, in 1792 and again in 1794, when the community was dispersed. At the time of its suppression the abbey counted sixty-seven members. Although they wished to live in community, they were not allowed to do so during the French Republic, nor after 1815 under King William I of the Netherlands. The last surviving religious gave the abbey to the Bishop of Tournai for a diocesan seminary.

The church is still Norbertine in its appearance. In 1616 or 1617 the remains of Saint Frederick of Hallum were brought here from the Premonstratensian Mariengaarde Abbey in the Netherlands to save them from the Calvinists. The relics were concealed in Vellereille during the French Revolution. In 1938 they were moved to Leffe Abbey near Dinant.

The church still contains the statues of Saint Norbert, of Saint Frederick, and of two Premonstratensian bishops of Ratzeburg, Saints Evermod and Isfried. At the time of the suppression the statue of Our Lady of Good Hope was hidden; and when peace was restored, it was brought to the church of Vellereille of which one of the canons of Bonne-Espérance was the parish priest. In 1833 it was solemnly brought back to the abbey church, or, as it is now, the seminary church.

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Details

Founded: 1130
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

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User Reviews

Jean-louis Robert (8 months ago)
Un cadre d'exception. .possibilité de manger et boire sur place..et surtout une école réputée
pierre schellens (9 months ago)
Très chouet coin pour une belle balade en campagne
Joel Sara (14 months ago)
Lieu de détente agréable et où il fait bon flâner. Lieu de promenade idéal pour un dimanche après-midi en famille Visite guidée de l'abbaye très instructive. A voir, surtout qu'on peut sur place, déguster...une Bonne espérance avec un excellent croque-monsieur.
zuccolotto thibaut (16 months ago)
Cool
Romain Gautiez (3 years ago)
Nice and beautiful place to have a drink with friends and kids in a calm and beautiful place brewing its own beer.
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