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The Calvary of Moresnet

The Calvary of Moresnet

The calvary of Moresnet-Chapelle

calvaire (14)The devotion to the Virgin Mary began in Moresnet in 1750, after the young Arnold Franck healed of epilepsy.  Around 1875, Franciscan monks from Aix-la-Chapelle, driven away by the ‘Kulturkampf’, settled down in the locality.

They took charge of the pilgrimages to Notre-Dame du Petit-Chêne (Eikschen). Their importance increased quite substantially.  Anxious to associate the devotion to the Blessed Virgin with the worship of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Abbot Johannes Ruiter planned a station of the cross. The work is initiated and the landscape is completely remodeled. All the mounds and the mound of the 12th station are created from a flat ground, with the means of that time and thanks to the voluntary services many residents. Each station (intotal 14 caves) has its own characteristics. The vaults and caves walls made of annular shaft stone are covered on the outside with lava blocks. Decorative materials such as glass, mosaics, marbles are delivered by the mines surrounding or offered by local artisans factories. Stalactites from ‘Thuringia’ complete the interior decoration.

The calvary was officially inaugurated May 25, 1902, but was completely finished on 13 September 1903. Since then innumerable processions, torchlight parades and other religious events have taken place in this idyllic setting.

68.000 ornamental plants, including 90 exotic species, form a marvellous green environment. Even now, many horticultural schools visit the park rich in color, rich in botanical discoveries particularly when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

As pilgrims or as visitors, all found at the Calvary of Moresnet-Chapelle, a paradise of greenery and tranquility.

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