Our Lady’s Basilica in Avioth

I’ve crossed the French border twice – once from Belgian and once from the German side. Both times, the effect was striking. It was as if I have crossed an invisible barrier or directly a wall behind which there was an entirely different world. Everything was different – the atmosphere, and somehow even the air… When crossing the border for the second time, I decided that this „distinction in the air“ (it is quite difficult to explain that feeling) was due to the different pastel colors of the houses in France. Continue reading

Orval

A legend tells that Countess Mathilda of Tuscany dropped her wedding ring in the water while she was sitting on the edge of a fountain. After a long and fruitless search, she prayed to God and a trout emerged from the water with her ring in its mouth. (Today this is the symbol and coat of arms of the abbey). The Countess exclaimed: „Truly, this place is a Val d’Or“ (Val d’Or translated from the French means Golden Valley). And to express her gratitude, she decided to build a monastery on the spot.

Continue reading