“For more than a century the charred walls of Orval were at the mercy of the weather and of stone—and treasure seekers.”
– Spiritual Heights and Depths, 2011
(1) A quote from Trappist Beer Travels: Inside the Breweries of the Monasteries:
“This time of prosperity and celebration was cut short in 1789 as the French Revolution broke out, and Orval’s position along the French border made it a vulnerable and immediate target. On June 23, 1793, revolutionary troops under the command of French General Louis Henri Loison plundered and burned Orval to ruins. The monks sought refuge in Luxembourg, then at Orval’s daughter priory Conques—around fifteen miles north of the abbey—but the community was officially disbanded on November 7, 1795.
The once great Orval Abbey would have likely faded into the dusty scrolls of history if it were not for the de Harenne family, who eventually came to own the land containing its ruins. In 1926 the family made the generous decision to offer the plot back to the Cistercian Order so a new generation of monks could rebuild, live, and worship on this sacred grounds.”