Infobox Belgium Municipality
picture=Stavelot JPG02.jpg




mayor=Thierry de Bournonville
web= []
Infobox Former Country
native_name = "Reichsabtei Stavelot-Malmedy" (de)
"Abbaye impériale de Stavelot-Malmedy" (fr)
"Räichsabtei Stavelot-Malmedy" (lb)
"Rijksklooster Stavelot-Malmedy" (nl)
conventional_long_name = Imperial Abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy
common_name = Stavelot
continent = Europe
region = Low Countries
country = Belgium
era = Middle Ages
status = Abbey
empire = Holy Roman Empire
government_type = Theocracy
year_start =
year_end = 1794
life_span = ? – 1794
event_pre = Abbeys founded
date_pre = "ca" 650
event_start = Gained "Reichsfreiheit"
date_start = before 12th century
event_end = by France
date_end =
event_post = Congress of Vienna*
date_post = June 9 1815
p1 =
image_p1 =
s1 = Ourthe (department)
flag_s1 = Flag of France.svg

capital = Stavelot
footnotes = * Stavelot to the flagcountry|NLD; Malmedy to flag|Prussia|1803|name=Prussian
Stavelot is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège. On January 1 2006 Stavelot had a total population of 6,671. The total area is 85.07 km² which gives a population density of 78 inhabitants per km².


The town grew up around the Abbey of Stavelot, founded "ca" 650, out of what had been a villa, by the legendary Saint Remaclus (Saint Remacle). The villa's lands occupied the borderland between the bishoprics of Cologne and Tongeren. The Abbey of Stavelot was secularized and demolished at the time of the French Revolution: of the church just the west end doorway remains, as a free-standing tower. Two cloisters, one secular, one for the monks survive as the courtyards of the brick-and-stone 17th century domestic ranges, now housing the Museum of the Principality of Stavelot- Malmedy, and museums devoted to the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who was a long-term resident, and to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The foundations of the abbey church are presented as a footprint, with walls and column bases that enable the visitor to visualize the scale of the Romanesque abbey.

Stavelot was the seat of the Principality of Stavelot-Malmedy, a small independent region of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by the abbots of Stavelot. The principality was dissolved in 1794 during the French Revolution. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Stavelot was added to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, contrary to Malmedy which was added to the Prussian Rhineland in 1815. In 1830 it became part of Belgium (Malmedy would also became a part of Belgium in 1919).

The key building period at the abbey of Stavelot corresponds to the rule of the abbot Poppon, the second founder of the abbey, who revived the cult of St Remaclus and died in 1048; his cult, which began almost immediately, [The "Vita Popponis" which detailed the miracles that occurred in his name specifically asserted that Stavelot might rejoice in having a saint, as Tours rejoiced in its Saint Martin.] focused on his resting place in the crypt. Thietmar was the lay patron who assembled carpenters and stone masons to build the abbey church ["Vita Popponis", ch. ] The church served its dual purpose as a monastic church and as a church of pilgrimage until the French Revolution. Its imposing gatehouse tower was rebuilt in 1534; its ground floor is all that remains, though the abbey church has been excavated and is presented in its plan.

In the mid-12th century the independent prince-abbot of Stavelot-Malmedy supported a group of goldsmiths' and metalworking workshops that produced champlevé enamels, among whom the name of Godefroid de Claire stands out. Abbot Wibald (ruled 113058) was one of the greatest patrons of the arts in the 12th century; during his rule the Stavelot Triptych of gilded copper and enamels was produced, about 1156, for the Abbey to contain two fragments of the True Cross. The binding of the Stavelot Bible, and the remaining fragments from the retable (altar screen) at Stavelot are among the highpoints of medieval art.

The town's coat of arms, granted in 1819, are parted fess-wise -between the founding bishop, and the wolf, which in Stavelot's founding legend, carried bricks for the building of the Abbey.

At the end of World War II, during the battle of the Bulge, the city was the scene of severe fighting. Moreover, between the 18 and 20 December 1944, soldiers belonging to the German Kampfgruppe Peiper killed more than 100 civilians (including women and very young children) in Stavelot and the surrounding area. For this and other massacres (among others of American prisoners of war) perpetrated during the same period, Peiper and some of his men would eventually have to face the Malmedy massacre trial where they were convicted of having committed war crimes.


Stavelot is part of the original course of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the famous venue of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix and the Spa 24 Hours endurance race.

Stavelot also has a traditional carnival, the "Carnaval de la Laetare des Blancs-Moussis". On the fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, some 200 local men clad in white and masked with long red noses—the "Blancs-Moussis"— parade through town throwing confetti and beating bystanders with dried pig bladders.


External links

* [ Museum of the Stavelot-Malmedy Principality, Stavelot]
* [ Philippe George, "Un moine est mort: sa vie commence"] in "Le Moyen Age", 2002/3–4 Abbot Poppon
* [ Coat-of-arms of Stavelot]
* [ The Stavelot Reliquary]
* [ Medieval Sourcebook: Abbey of Stavelot] : corvée of labour

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