Stavelot, Abbey of
STAVELOT, ABBEY OF
Benedictine monastery in Belgium, Diocese of Liège [Latin, Stabela(c)us ]. Founded c. 650 in the forest of the Ardennes, it was endowed with a large domain by the Merovingian King Sigebert III. Its first abbot, St. Remaclus, a monastic bishop, was likewise the abbot of the sister abbey, malmÉdy. Both abbeys were abolished during the French Revolution, and Stavelot's last abbot—the 69th successor of Remaclus—His Highness Dom Célestin Thys, was exiled to Germany, where he died in 1796. In 870 this royal abbey, which had been under the protection of Louis the German, became part of the Holy Roman Empire. As an imperial abbey it remained free and exempt, its abbot, who was elected by the chapter and confirmed by the pope and the emperor, being a prince of the Empire. Stavelot was reformed by Abbots Odilo (d. 954), poppo (d. 1048), the builder of the large abbey church that was destroyed in 1801, wibald (d. 1158), a humanist and promoter of Mosan art, and William of Manderscheid (d. 1546). The abbey's schools and scriptorium were important during the Middle Ages. The extensive monastic buildings, all built during the 18th century, were secularized and exist today. In 1950 the Benedictine priory of Saint-Remacle was founded at Wavreumont-Stavelot.
Bibliography: Sources. Archives de l'État, Liège. Bibliothèque royale, Brussels. Literature. u. berliÈre, Monasticon belge, v.2 (Gembloux 1928). w. legrand, "L'Église abbatiale de Stavelot," Bulletin de la société d'art et d'histoire du diocèse de Liège 43 (1963) 183–226.