Beautiful and and very old abbey. The monastery was founded in 1325 by the Order of the Carthusians ("Chartreux" in French). This order was founded in 1084 north of Grenoble in the Chartreuse Mountains, hence the name.
After the French Revolution, the building served several times as a sanitarium and/or hospital.
In May 2023, the abbey reopened after renovation works. It was/is one of the largest renovation sites in France. In the 24 former hermitages (these are hermitages, the homes in which the fathers lived in absolute silence - there was one home with a private garden for each priest), 3 studios will be furnished each time. A total of 69 studios will accommodate seminar participants and vacationers. There will be no permanent residence there. One of the hermitages is classified as a historical monument and is being restored as such. It is this one ermitage that can already be visited today. It has been partially restored. See also our 360° photo below.
The fathers were supported by several dozen friars. These friars engaged in all kinds of manual labor. Their quarters and workshops were in the large buildings in front of the church. Among other things, they had a very large print shop. All activities that could make noise took place in these buildings. These buildings and the 24 ermitages are separated by the church.
In addition to the church, there were several chapels: for example, the Family Chapel (this was the chapel for the friars) and the Chapel of St. Anthelme. There was also a large library and a refectory.
Tip: During World War I, some 5,000 Belgians went to seek support in this abbey. It was then used as a hospital. Not far away there is a cemetery without tombstones, say "the Forgotten Cemetery": there were a six hundred Belgians buried who died of typhus, etc. It was only in 2013 that attention was drawn again to this field: there are now some panels commemorating these fallen people. In between, the farmer continues to work his land. Unbelievable but true. Out of respect for these dead, one can hardly help but conclude an abbey visit with a short passage to this place.NEUVILLE-SOUS-MONTREUIL France
Number of visitors on an annual basis: 16,000 (2022 - see their yearbook 2022 ).
Indication on the map of Top.Flanders.
Indication of the abbey on Google Maps.
Indication of the "Forgotten Cemetery" on Google Maps.
Official web site of this abbey ( opening hours ).
Wikipedia page: French-language
Wikipedia page on the Carthusians: Dutch-language - French-language
Background information on the "Forgotten Cemetery": bel-memorial.org and national Flemish TV VRT
Photos from Jan. 24, 2023 - renovation was still in progress
Overall plan/model :
Photos from June 6, 2023:
Photos of the entrance gate:
Photos from outside:
Photos of the corridors:
Photos of the Chapel near the entrance gate on the right: among other things, this is where visits were arranged between the Fathers and their families. They were separated by a lattice. This lattice was now removed, however. It is past this chapel that YOU as a visitor gain access to the complex.
Photos of the refectory & chapel:
Photos of the church:
360° HR/HDR shot of June 6, 2023:
Photos of one of the rooms in an "ermitage" of the Fathers: a hermitage of no less than 110 m² (so in terms of space, they were certainly not impecunious):
360° HR/HDR photo of June 6, 2023:
The 24 ermitages:
The renovation works:
Photos of the "Forgotten Cemetery" (Nécropole Belge):