all kind of great delicious belgium abbey beers, you can buy them at the shop of this monastery. also belgium chocolate and home made cheese and lots of other products
last time i was here was with Rudy and Lenny march 8. 2007
thanx guys for the great time we spend:-)
The Church is many time the center of the Abbey. Out of the Trappist Churches I was in (Achel, Westvleteren and Orval), the iside of Achel was the most decorated. The afternoon prayers did not take place at the main Church, but at a smaller section of the Church next to the abbey.
During mass & prayers there will be someone at the Courtyard Gate that will give you entrance & show you the way to the Church. During my visit, a little girl (last picture) stood in the courtyard and showed us the way to the Church. The courtyard has several statues worth taking a look at.
There are several entrances to the the Abbey. Most are simply entrances to the Souvenir shops, Cafeteria, etc. In order to enter the actual abbey you have to either be a guest at the guesthouse or be attending prayers or mass. I was not a guest, but I was lucky that the 1500 hrs prayers were taking place and I was able to enter the Abbey throught the main gates (main picture), and then cross another gate into the couryard that leads to the Church.
OK, perhaps it's not spectacular. But it's one of the lesser known works of P.J.H. Cuypers, an architect whose name I've mentioned a lot on many of my pages about my own country as well. That man was important, and this is a chance to see a bit of his work outside The Netherlands. People talk about his central station and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam all the time but his churches are far more important and much more interesting. Well, here is one. And even a rare foreign example too. OK, so it's only a couple of meters across the Belgian border, it's still a different country!
By walking around the monastery you can get a better feel as to what the daily life is like within the abbey.
Walk around the inside of the Abbey if you get a chance, it is clean & quiet. It gives you a better idea as to how the Trappist Monks live.