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Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Treasures of an Abbey in Ruins: Orval

Patrick Bernauw, a very well know Flemish writer, specializes in historical mysteries, faction and fiction, supernatural stories and fantasy novels. In his recent article, he explains his trip to
the Abbey of Orval (Belgium) together with Kathleen McGowan, who writes extensively about Countess Mathilde of Tuscany in "The Book of Love". Mathilde founded the abbey in the 11th century, and she - as the abbey itself - are shrouded in mystery.

The wedding ring of Mathilde of Tuscany accidentally had fallen into a well. She prayed to the Lord and suddenly a trout rose to the surface with the ring in its mouth. "This truly is a Valley of Gold!" Mathilde exclaimed, and so she built the abbey of the Golden Valley, the Val d'Or, Orval... out of an act of gratitude. Here is Kathleen McGowan standing by the miraculous "wishing well" of Mathilde: if you throw a coin in the water, you may make a wish... as Mathilde did.
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Copyright by embee, used with permission

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