The abbey of Villers-la-Ville has long been on my list of places to visit. I’m a sucker for 12th-century ruins, what can I say. The only reason I waited this long is because it’s pretty far from our home. So we made a day trip out of the whole thing.

Enchanting ruins
Enchanting ruins

I can’t say I knew much about the place prior to visiting it but that actually made it more interactive. We were basically running around from room to room, reading up on what it used to be centuries ago. I like having nerdy interests like that in common with m, makes me feel less weird about myself.

Enchanting ruins

Enchanting ruins

To get back to the abbey, it dates back to 1146 when Cistercian monks established the church. Over time, it expanded into a huge complex of various buildings. It long enjoyed wealth and importance but that all ended by the end of the 18th century.

Enchanting ruins
Enchanting ruins

In the end, it was the French revolution that chased the monks away. The site was ransacked and stones were sold piece by piece. Having been forgotten and abandoned, time and vegetation turned the abbey into ruins.

“Ruins are the cathedrals of Time.”

While it saddens me to see it destroyed, I still can’t help but fall in love with its rustic charm. You can feel its grandeur, even if now it’s just a ruin reminiscent of past times.

Enchanting ruins
Enchanting ruins

Personally, we kept coming back to the most magnificent part of the church, its choir. With its long nave and high arches, no wonder most people stay here the longest. I suppose we weren’t an exception either. Luckily enough, we enjoyed it all to ourselves for most of the time.

Enchanting ruins

So if you’re ever nearby (it’s a short drive from Brussels), don’t hesitate to drop by. Because it feels like a one of a kind place, especially for Belgium. Correct me if I’m wrong, and I almost hope I am, because I wouldn’t mind discovering more picturesque ruins. I suppose, in the end, I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic being so in love with ruins!

Enchanting ruins

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