Old Abbot’s Palace in Dieleghem/Dielegem


Cut off from its original environment and its outbuildings, the classically-inspired façades of the Abbot’s Palace in Dieleghem, designed by architect Laurent-Benoît Dewez, are still standing proudly. Constructed starting in 1775, the building reflects the luxurious environment befitting an abbot and canons who, in Dieleghem, were responsible for administering eight parishes. The powerful abbey owned a large quantity of land and woods, including those in Dieleghem, Laerbeek and Poelbos. Sandstone from its quarries was used to construct the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, among others, and it also extracted lumber from its woods. The estate was sold in 1797 after the French Revolution. It was a full century before the site, acquired in 1898 by a Doctor Capart, regained a little of its splendour. At this time, the property still retained a vast garden with pond, a rose garden, an orchard, a vegetable garden and a greenhouse where the doctor grew orchids. In 1929, the estate was divided into plots and parcelled out and, in 1954, the abbot’s palace and immediate surroundings were acquired by the municipality. Restoration work began in 1967 and continued until 1972. Inside, the original 18th century decor has been reinstated with its Louis XVI style stuccos in the stateroom, its Four Seasons putti decorating the tympanums of the door. In the cupola, cherubs represent the four elements, alluding to the natural environment that once formed a delightful backdrop to the abbey’s building. (Listed 03/02/1953)

Practical information

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