Hier geht’s zur deutschen Version!
Today we continue with the second part of my story about my weekend in Aachen.
After a comfortable night at @detlev’s home, the day started with a super delicious breakfast from @sunsea, together with @reggaemuffin and @suesa. While @detlev drove the two to the train station, we played a bit of settler of catan.
In the afternoon we planned a guided tour in the monastery brewery Val Dieu, but before that we had to clean up the office at @detlev after the MeetUp.
When we were done cleaning up we drove to the monastery where @detlev searched us a guided tour. What we then noticed at the beginning of the tour was that @detlev booked the guided tour of the monastery instead of the brewery tour and in French. It wasn't such a problem for me, but it was for the rest of the group, especially for the child’s of @detlev.
But I'd like to introduce you to the monastery.
The monastery was built in the 13th century by Benedictine monks and consists of a large church, a small monastery area, an unusually luxurious residence which I will explain in a moment and several old farm buildings which today are warehouses, shops, offices, brewery and much more. It used to be inhabited by 10-20 monks, but since 2001 nobody lives there anymore, so a catholic community takes care of it.
The reason for this luxury residence is that there was once a very influential and important abbot in this monastery who expected the visit of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, but she never came. Nowadays the residence is used for parties, concerts or family celebrations.
First we went with the guided tour through the guest wing into the monastery. We went straight to the cloister, a corridor around the square garden in the middle, where absolute silence used to be prescribed. This was the place for the monks to think. Here the guide told us the history of the monastery.
The monastery was destroyed and rebuilt 2 times in history, once during the French Revolution and once during the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants.
Our next destination was the dining room where they used to keep silent while a monk read the Bible or the news from other monasteries. Here she also explains the coat of arms of the monastery. The wedding rings stand for the cohesion and friendship of God and man, the mitre and the crosier for the monastery and the hand on the grain for the work in the fields they did.
In the dining room there is also a beautiful statue of Mary on the other side of the room as the Jesus Cross.
The next stop was the monastery garden in the middle. Here, too, a cross formed by the paths on the ground was found. In the middle stood a small fountain where water came out from a stone, which was again a biblical reference.
Here our guide explains to us why churches often have a cock on the top of the church tower. It should remember the Easter story in which Peter denied Jesus 3 times before the cock crows.
The next stop was now in the prayer room where every evening some psalms were read out, this room had some beautiful glass paintings of which I unfortunately did not manage to make a good pictures off with my mobile phone.
Now we have already arrived at our last station, the church. It is a beautiful big church, which follows the style of the Middle Ages to build huge churches to get closer to God, with the help of huge columns and arches.
After the guided tour we went to the shop to get some beers for which we had come.
On the way back to @detlev’s home we also bought some delicious souvenirs, which I will show you in another post. But we were quite exhausted because last night wasn't that long and so we spent a quiet evening in front of the TV, drank some Belgian beers and grilled the remainders of the MeetUp.