Orval Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval) is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1132 in the Gaume region of Belgium and is located in Villers-devant-Orval, part of Florenville in the province of Luxembourg. The abbey is well known for its history and spiritual life but also for its local production of the Trappist beer Orval and a specific cheese.
The visit includes an audiovisual presentation of the history of the monastery and of the present-day life of the Community, access to the ruins of the medieval abbey, the Museum housed in the foundations of the 18th century buildings, the pharmaceutical Museum and the medicinal herb-garden.
At certain times of the year, exhibitions are held in the principal hall of the medieval guest-lodge.
Located within the confines of the Abbey, the Orval Brewery was created in 1931 to finance the enormous reconstruction works of Orval. It has hired lay workers from the outset, including the master brewer, Pappenheimer, who invented the recipe.
The brewer’s commercial policy is adapted to the values of the monastic community. Income from Royalties generated from the brand name go to social welfare works and the maintenance of the buildings.
Orval cheese has been made on the premises of the Abbey since 1928, using a recipe concocted in 1816 by Trappist monks from Port du Salut Abbey.
The cheese is pressed, uncooked with a natural washed crust distinguished by its creaminess. The current dairy is situated in the old farm building erected by the architect Vaes on the model of the Cistercian barn of Ter Doest. Each production represents about 320 blocks of about 2 kilos.
Text and Continue reading: English website: Orval Abbey