Stavelot Travel Guide

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Stavelot Overview

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.

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