Clairefontaine and its ancient Cistercian abbey…
The history of Clairefontaine is closely linked to that of its Cistercian abbey. The Cistercian site is located 4 km from Arlon, near the Luxembourg border, nestled in the heart of nature.
Admission to the Clairefontaine estate is free, leaving visitors free to admire the ruins, the medicinal garden, the chapel and the crypt at their own leisure.
While visiting the estate, you can also discover the Saint-Bernard spring and visit the underground section via the cloister’s staircase wells.
Clairefontaine Abbey, remnants of Cistercian history
As the only Cistercian abbey ran by nuns known to date, not to mention that its original foundations have been preserved and left untouched, Clairefontaine Abbey is now essential to Cistercian researchers. It’s also a must-see for lovers of history.
The history of the abbey
It is said that in 1147, Saint Bernard passed through this valley on his way to Trier. He performed a miracle by blessing the spring, which now bears his name.
In the 13th century, at the request of Countess Ermesinde of Luxembourg, the site was chosen to serve as the family necropolis. The Beaulieu monastery, founded shortly before 1247, became part of the Order of Cîteaux and was renamed as Clairefontaine in 1253. This later became the name of the village surrounding the abbey.
Are you interested in the abbey’s history?
A free leaflet detailing the site’s history is available at the Office’s shop. It’s an ideal guide to refer to as you explore Clairefontaine. It’ll tell you all there is to know about the estate…
Alternatively, download the leaflet here.
Walking in Clairefontaine
A woodland path starting at Clairefontaine Abbey offers a wonderful opportunity for a meditative stroll.
The Tourist Office also offers walking tours. There are 3 different routes which start from the Clairefontaine site.
Want to know more about walking in Clairefontaine?