During your stay in our 4* hotel restaurant in Arlon you can visit the remains of the Clairefontaine Abbey. The remains are located in a wooded valley called the Eisch near Clairefontaine. The valley has been inhabited since Roman Times and there is a castle named Bardenbourg in which many important personalities resided over time.
They say that a few decades ago, before it was built, St. Bernard stopped at this place to bless a source which took the name of the saint and which still flows today. He blessed a sick person with the water from a spring that is not far from the castle. Until the day of today they say that the Clairefontaine water has healing properties.
The Clairefontaine Abbey has been founded during the time of Ermesinde (1186 – 1247). The Countess of Luxembourg had a dream in which the Virgin Mary asked her to build a convent. Not the Countess of Luxembourg, but her son Henry V the Blond build it a few years after the death of his mother. The Clairefontaine Abbey incorporates the Cistercian Order in 1253.
The Clairefontaine Abbey has been reconstructed in several phases between the 13th and 18th century. In 1794 the Abbey has been burned down and during the 19th century the ruined site was bought by Jesuits who built the country house of their novitiate of Arlon. In 1875 they built the chapel that is dedicated to the Notre Dame du Bel Amour.
This chapel is build on the site of the former nave of the Abbey church. The windows in the chapel are from the 19th and 20th century. Clairefontaine Abbey was built as a monastery and a dynastic necropolis in 1935. It is built in a Neo Gothic style. Visitors can still nowadays pray in front of the tomb of Ermesinde that is in the crypt of the chapel.
The best way to explore the Clairefontaine Abbey is with a walking route that also leads you to an old dam from the first World War and if you continue along the banks of the Eisch you will also cross the border with Luxembourg on some parts. If you want to extend the walk you can decide to visit a dense deciduous forest in the direction of Karlsberg. After this walk in nature you can relax in our hotel in Arlon with a cup of coffee.