The Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren, Westvleteren

4.4
#27 of 77 in Historic Sites in West Flanders Province
Architectural Building Religious Site
Saint-Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, which belongs to the Cistercians of Strict Observance, or Trappists, is a Roman Catholic abbey located in Westvleteren, in the Belgian Province of West Flanders. The abbey is famous for its spiritual life, characterised by prayer, reading, and manual work, the three basic elements of Trappist life. It has also a reputation for its brewery, one of the several breweries of Trappist beer in Belgium.History9th to 18th centuriesThe earliest traces of a monastic presence at the location of the present day abbey date back to 1260, although the '', which is mentioned in a deed of 806 (from the abbey of Saint-Omer), was probably located in the same area (known at that time as Fletrinio''). From 1260 to 1355 there was a small community of nuns on the side of the Catsberg. That site was abandoned, but between 1610 and 1784 a monastery of the Bridgettines (the Order of the Most Holy Saviour) was located on what is called "Fathers' Corner".19th centuryIn 1831 the hermit Jan-Baptist Victoor was joined by a prior and a few monks in the woods of Saint Sixtus, and this group developed into the later Trappist abbey of Saint Sixtus in Westvleteren. In 1838 the Westvleteren Brewery was founded inside the abbey precinct. In 1839 a primary school was established and in 1840 the old church of the priory was built. In 1850, a group of monks from Westvleteren founded Scourmont Abbey on the barren plateau of Scourmont near Chimay. In 1871 the priory was granted the status of abbey by Pope Pius IX. Between 1875 and 1878 a model farm was developed as an example for the region.
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4.8
  • If you like beer then this is worth a trip to try one of the rarest beers in the world. It is slightly difficult to find using GPS on bicycles, we cycled out from Ypres, although this is mainly due to...  more »
  • Achmed gave such good service, good recommendations and the food & drink was wonderful. A must if you're in the area & worth the trip if you're not.  more »
  • I can't imagine someone coming here to visit for anything other than the beer. It is not centrally located, even driving with GPS you are routed down single lane roads meandering through fields. But i...  more »
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  • Although the coveted 'Westy 12' can be bought in the cafe across the road, arranging purchase of it by the crate from the Abbey is well worth it if you have the persistence. Truly among the best beers in the world!
  • Theres not much to say. Food it's ok. Beer Goooood! Even though this beer is good for my taste I like St. Bernard more.
  • Best westvleteren12!
  • The place where the best beer of the world is made.
  • Absolutely amazing experience and amazing beer. Lucky for me they were selling six packs which I snapped up! I definitely recommend a visit here it's quite special.