The Crypt

La Porte du Ciel

The Crypt

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Even though it has lost its dome, the abbey tower has been the undisputed ruler of the domain since the XVIIth century. At a height of 54 m it is an ideal location for overseeing the near and distant surroundings (mountains, Soignies, even up to Tournai when the weather is clear). At his feet, on the side of the pond, huddled behind a tunnel of green, a low door, covered by a heavy curtain, provides access to the crypt. Allow your eyes a few moments to get used to the dark, after which you will notice that the location is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with beautifully restored vaulted arches and a remarkable family of bats.

First a word about the location, the original crypt. This used to be a part of an earlier parish church, which could have been levelled to the ground when the abbey was founded. A pantry serving as cooling cellar? The resemblance with the cooling cellars of the former Burgundian cisterian abbey: the same refined styling, the same striving for harmony and balance, the same masonry. The crypt is connected to the underground vaults of the domain, which clearly was an escape route (Ath, Mons) in the event of a siege. Cambron Street in Ath bears silent witness to this.
 

In 2003 this building won the Cadus prize for the renovation completed here, which is a recognition of the maintenance of the Walloon heritage.

The Crypt in image

This world's activities

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Raptor exhibition

Raptor exhibition

A raptor exhibition is the perfect illustration of all that man ever admired as these birds rise above all others, with their majestic, worthy appearance. More info

Monks Graveyard

Monks Graveyard

The monks' cemetery is centrally located between the abbey tower and St Bernard Tower, the last resting place for at least 700 monks. More info

Ranch

Ranch

The smallest ones will be the biggest More info

Karibuni restaurant

Karibuni restaurant

The Oasis, at the table with the animals of the jungle More info

Oasis and its animals

Oasis and its animals

The Oasis is a huge conservatory (7,000 m2) where the roof can be opened during spells of nice weather and closed when the weather is cold and rainy, while still allowing daylight to enter. More info

Cathedral aviary

Cathedral aviary

This is the largest aviary of its kind in Europe. More info

Tropicalia

Tropicalia

Here, more than elsewhere, it is worthwhile to take your time and slow down. This is a piece of paradise on earth, with a fragile and delicate balance, a sanctuary of beautiful birds and with a wealth of colour as if you are in a dream. More info

The Crypt

The Crypt

The Crypt, the foundation of the abbey tower is the realm of bats More info

The parrots

The parrots

Colorful flights More info

The rose garden

The rose garden

Thousands of species of roses. More info

The abbey tower

The abbey tower

With its 54 m height it oversees the near and distant surroundings More info

The Andalusian garden

The Andalusian garden

The entrance to the Andalusian garden is unmistakable, a grandiose palm traded its sunny spot on the Canary islands for a place in the country of Cambron. More info

The treasure chamber

The treasure chamber

In the crypte of the bats, you can now discover a unique collection of objects from all over the world. More info

The dromedary

The dromedary

The dromedary, also called "one-humped-camel". More info

The Peafowl

The Peafowl

The Blue Peafowl, originating from the Indian sub-continent, has become a domestic bird throughout the world because of the magnificence of its plumage. More info