Historic Heart

Stavelot, one of the oldest cities in Belgium

Stavelot was founded in the 7th century, when Saint Remacle, a Limousin monk, was responsible for the evangelisation of a region of the Ardennes.
The double abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy, an ecclesiastical principality attached to the German Holy Roman Empire, had an important spiritual and political influence throughout the Middle Ages.
The French Revolution put an end to this glorious history.
Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Stavelot was attached to the Netherlands and Malmedy to Prussia. As early as 1830, Stavelot became part of the Kingdom of Belgium; but for Malmedy, it was not until 1919.
While World War I did not spare Belgium, nor the whole region, it was during World War II, and especially during the Battle of the Ardennes in the winter of 1944, that the two sister cities suffered terribly.

Stavelot retains many relics from its past. Here are some ...

    • The remains of the abbey

      Vue sur les ruines de l’église abbatiale de Stavelot ; bases de colonnes et murs en pierres et tour d’entrée du 16e siècle ; au milieu des vestiges, 3 sculptures contemporaines en métal de l’artiste Serge Gangolf. Plus loin, on aperçoit des maisons anciennes à colombages et ardoises ainsi que le clocher de l’église Saint-Sébastien.

      Dating mostly back to the 18th century. The abbey was destroyed shortly after the Revolution. The Abbey of Stavelot has today become a cultural hub of the city!


    • Saint-Remacle square

      Au centre la place pavée de galets d’eau et bordées de maisons du 18e siècle en pierre et à revêtement d’ardoises se trouve la fontaine du perron, toute en pierre ; Bac rond avec au milieu un haut socle pour le perron, colonne symbole des libertés acquises par les citoyens de la ville ; ce perron est soutenu par 4 loups, animal symbole de Stavelot.

      The architectural complex that surrounds this vast Amblève pebble-covered space is classified. Most houses date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. In the centre, the fountain bears the symbol of the freedoms acquired by the people of Stavelot.


    • Saint-Sébastien Parish Church

      Vue des toits en ardoises du centre historique de Stavelot et clocher de l’église.

      This 1751 building houses the shrine of Saint-Remacle, one of the masterpieces of the Rhenish-Meuse goldsmith of the 13th century: The Korfmacher 1841 organ is regularly honoured with prestigious concerts.


    • The Vinâve

      Fontaine en pierre du pays d’où l’eau jaillit pour tomber dans 2 bacs allongés et côte à côte ; à l’arrière, façades typiques de Stavelot en revêtement d’ardoises.

      From the Latin vicinabilem meaning "neighbour" ... This neighbourhood was the first habitable area of the city. Pretty, typical houses, covered with slates, a 1777 fountain and, nearby, two of the oldest streets in the city, the Delbrouck alley and rue de la Fontaine.


    • The Mal Aimé hotel

      Porche d’entrée de l’hôtel ; au mur, retranscription peinte à la main du poème la Mal Aimé du poète français Guillaume Apollinaire qui séjourna à Stavelot en 1899.

      This building is entirely dedicated to the memory of the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire who stayed there in the summer of 1899. It was one of the greatest poets of French literature. For more information, visit the Apollinaire Museum!


    • Cultural space of the Capuchins

      Intérieur tout en blanc de l’ancienne chapelle des Capucins restaurée – jubé en bois et dorures, une fresque, quelques peintures religieuses et sur un mur latéral, un grand Christ en bois.

      Located very close to Rue Haute and its typical half-timbered houses, sometimes also covered with slates or planks, is the old chapel of the Capuchins (1659), integrated for decades in the Saint-Remacle College and now transformed into a very beautiful space for exhibitions and concerts.


    • Commemoration Square

      Hommage et dépôt de fleurs au Monument aux Morts de Stavelot. Statue de dame en bronze qui découvre dans un champs le casque d’un soldat mort au combat.

      This space pays tribute to the US troops defending Stavelot in 1944, and also to the soldiers, resistance fighters and civilians killed during the two world wars.


    • Amblève bridge

      Pont en pierre sur l’Amblève, rivière bordée par de nombreux arbres touffus.

      This bridge is one of the highest locations of the Battle of the Ardennes of winter 1944; various monuments and an American halftrack recall this tragedy.


  • Saint-Laurent chapel

    Chapelle romane en pierres du pays, la plus ancienne de Stavelot.

    A Romanesque chapel from 1030 also called "chapel of the clumsy" in this time of epidemics ... and which adjoined the leprosarium of the city. It is the oldest building in Stavelot.