Villers-la-Ville Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Villers-la-Ville

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    Trains in the Abbots garden?

    by filipdebont Updated Oct 1, 2004

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    The train viaduct through the garden

    During the walking concert Voices under the Stars; I noticed that nearby at regular times trains were passing by.

    But then when I moved over to the Abbots garden, it was al clear to me. There was crossing a railway viaduct through the Abbots garden.

    It is really a pity they did that in the past. It is as this railway is cutting the Abbey in two parts.

    It all happened in 1838, when the owner of the ruins, a man from Charleroi, gave permission against a big financial compensation, to construct the industrial railway line from Charleroi, via waver towards Leuven. This railway passes through the Abbots garden, and just besides the Abbeys church.

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    Abbots Gardens

    by filipdebont Updated Oct 1, 2004

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    The Abbots Garden

    Behind the Abbots Palace you can visit the Abbots garden.

    This beautiful garden was filled with statues and fountains (there are some statues left).

    Behind the garden there are some terraces which lead towards the Chapel of Our Lady from Scherpenheuvel. From this point you have a great view over the Abbey ruins.

    This garden was also the scenery for the act of the female voices of Adiemus (stage nr 5).

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    Abbots Quarters

    by filipdebont Updated Oct 1, 2004

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    Abbots Quarters

    The main parts of the abbey of Villers-la-Ville were built between the 13th and 15th century.

    However the Abbots Quarters also named the Abbots Palace was rebuilt in the 18th century by Abbot Jacques Hache.
    Behind this Abbots Palace you can visit the Abbots gardens.

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    The Big Finale

    by filipdebont Written Sep 28, 2004

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    The big final

    At 23.00 it was time for the big finale.

    On stage nr 1, the big stage on the working courtyard, all the groups which participated at this magnificent walking concert were presented one by one. They came on stage and brought one more song.

    Last group to come on stage were the top of the bill of this evening, The Flying Pickets.

    And the brought the world famous song Only You.

    After this all the groups were singing together on the sounds of Celebration (Kool and the Gang), och yes it was really part time then.

    And during this song there was a big fire work above the Abbey Ruins.

    What a great way to end a marvellous evening.

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    Stage nr 2 : The Gregorian Choir of Leuven

    by filipdebont Written Sep 28, 2004

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    The Gregorian Choir of Leuven

    Stage nr 2 was built in the Abbey Church.

    Oh, what a fantastic location, and up to me the perfect location for this group which was bringing religious music.

    This Choir is really very famous for the authentic interpretations of this music in the very difficult Gregorian language. Regularly they perform at national services.

    There was a very special and mystic atmosphere in the Church ruin, also because they had asked not to applaud during the concert in order not to break the spiritual atmosphere.

    This was surely one of the highlights of the evening, and I also noticed that all the visitors were extremely quiet and listening very attentive.

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    Stage nr 3 : The New London Children's Choir

    by filipdebont Written Sep 27, 2004

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    The New London Children's Choir

    At the courtyard just besides the Abbey Church you could hear the soft voices of The New London Children's Choir (on stage nr 3).

    Despite the young age of this group, the Children’s Choirs has already collected impressive records.
    They performed together with Paul McCartney and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. They performed at the stages of The Queen Elisabeth Hall, St James’ Palace and Opera Bastille. They also performed at the anniversary of the Queen Mother and did sing on the soundtracks of Star Wars and the Hunchback of the Notre Dame.
    They already produced 22 cd's.

    It was great to hear these soft voices of this very famous Children's Choir.

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    Stage nr 6 : Sangalayi

    by filipdebont Written Sep 27, 2004

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    The African Sounds of Sangalayi

    Next to the old Brewery ruins there was a small courtyard. This courtyard was the location of Stage nr 6 and here you could listen to the African Sounds of Sangalayi.

    The name of this group : Sangalayi means - be happy or enjoy you – in Tshiluba, the language of the Kasai (R.D. Congo). By singing these authentic African sound this Congolese group tries to revalue the African Heritage. In fact that is what they are doing : the oral hand down of the African myths, stories and history.

    There was a great atmosphere on stage and in front of the stage, with the compelling African songs of Sangalayi. You just had to close your eyes; and the feeling to be in Africa came back.

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    Stage nr 5 : The Female Voices of Adiemus

    by filipdebont Updated Sep 25, 2004

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    The Female Voices of Adiemus

    The garden of the Abbots quarter was the location of stage nr 5.

    On stage nr 5 you could see and hear the voices of 9 ladies. This group of ladies came from Finland, and they were singing in a fictive language.

    In fact they were singing kind of Celtic songs. The composer of this sound is Karl Jenkins.

    Their first three records all were rewarded worldwide with platinum.

    After The Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and the BBC Proms they were invited to sing acapella at Voices under the Stars.

    To be honest I did not knew this group, I did not knew what to expect, but they were great, what a wonderful sound. It is surely music I want to hear more of.

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    Stage nr 4 : The Flying Pickets

    by filipdebont Written Sep 23, 2004

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    The Flying Pickets

    On stage nr 4 were performing The Flying Pickets.

    To me this was really top of the bill.

    I must admit that I am bit of a fan of the Flying Pickets. In the past I have already seen a few concerts of them, in the Cultural Centre De Spil in Roeselare, my hometown.

    I think everyone knows their first single, Only You; it was a number 1 in all the European Charts.

    The Flying Pickets have a very strong live reputation, and again they brought a very strong concert.

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    Stage nr 1 : The Choir of the Red Army

    by filipdebont Written Sep 22, 2004

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    The Red Army Choir in action

    So stage 1, this big stage at the big working courtyard was reserved for the Choir of the Red Army.

    This world famous choir is one of the best
    in its kind.
    It was a big group - 35 singers.

    They brought traditional Russian songs.

    There was a great atmosphere on the courtyard especially as the started singing the famous Russian song Kalinka.

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    The Concert

    by filipdebont Written Sep 22, 2004

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    a wonderful concert

    In 2004 it was the fourth edition of the walking concert Voices under the
    Stars.

    So there were performing 6 different vocal groups on 6 different stages.

    This year top of the bill were The Flying Pickets (at stage 4).

    On the big stage on the working courtyard (stage 1) you could see and hear
    the Choir of the Red Army; on the scene in the Abbey Church (stage 2) were
    performing the Gregorian Choir of Leuven - Belgium.

    At stage nr 3 there was the Classical boy’s choir : The New London Children's
    Choir.

    In the Abbey garden, there was stage nr 5 with Celtic sound of the female
    Voices of Adiemus - Finland.

    And besides the brewery you could listen to the African Sounds of Sangalayi on stage nr 6.

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    The old Brewery

    by filipdebont Written Sep 20, 2004

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    The old Brewery

    On the other side of the working courtyard you can see the brewery. This building is well preserved (and beautifully restored). It was built in a pure Romanesque style

    By the size of this building, this must have been a very busy brewery which produced a lot beer.

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    Hidden treasures

    by filipdebont Written Sep 19, 2004

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    great place to discover

    While walking through these magnificent Abbey ruins of Villers-la-Ville, it was great to discover some beautiful spots to photograph.

    Of course it was not the ideal occasion, to do this at a walking concert, as there were thousands of other visitors.

    Also certain places were very slippery of the mud and the abundant rainfall of the days before. (Also I had chosen the wrong shoes . . .)

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    Monk's Refectory

    by filipdebont Written Sep 19, 2004

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    the refectory

    Before the walking concert started, I had some time left, to discover some places of these Abbey Ruins of Villers-la-Ville.

    The first building I entered was the Monk's Refectory. It still looked great; a sign board told that it was built in the 13th century.

    The big refectory was 33 m long and a width of 14 m, and was divided by a row of 5 columns. The tables for the monks were arranged along the walls.

    It was kind of funny as now for this concert this space was also used as restaurant.
    At the white tents in the rear, you could buy some local specialities to eat.

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    The Ruins...

    by coceng Updated May 12, 2004

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    Villers-la-Ville

    This photo is showing another part of thr ruins.
    Really, for me it felt like a paradise also trapped in these ruins 'cos I felt that I was in another world !
    These were the first ruins that I came to which would make many more ruins around Europe that I would be at !
    I guess I owe it all to The Ruins of Villers-la-Ville !

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