|The "historical" trappist breweries|
The abbey of Mariawald
The year 1480 is regarded as that of the real foundation of the monastery which was built, at the time, by Cistercians. During more than three centuries, the monks dealt with the pilgrims of passage. The monastery knew its first vicissitudes in 1795, when the French revolution undertook to drive them out of their monastery. However, the monks succeeded in preserving the famous altar from Antwerp and saving it from being destroyed.
After having passed between the hands of several owners, the monastery was finally repurchased by the Trappists of the abbey of Oelenberg in 1860, who undertook to rebuild it. Their work was stopped by the Prussian “Kulturkampf,” and between 1875 and 1887, the monks were no longer authorized to integrate the monastery. In spite of this prohibition, a small group of monks remained.
It was only in 1891 that the abbey church, built in the Gothic style, could be inaugurated. The rise of the monastery to the range of abbey occurred in 1909, and the monks could finally consider the future with a little more quietude. This was without counting on the national socialist movement, which in 1941 banished them for the third time of their history.
Returning to the monastery in 1945, the monks found it badly damaged. But the monks went back to work. The abbey of Mariawald has since accommodated a community of Trappist monks.
A brewery was installed within the abbey. The monks produced beer until approximately 1956, when problems of supply with raw materials and especially water obliged them to stop the production.