Oignies Abbey

Auvelais, Belgium

Oignies Abbey

Oignies Abbey (French: Abbaye d'Oignies; originally Priory of St Nicolas d'Oignies) is a former Augustinian monastery in Wallonia. Established in 1187, it is situated on the banks of the Sambre River in Belgium.

In 1187, four brothers from Walcourt settled at Oignies, Three of the brothers, Gilles, Robert and John, were priests, while the fourth, Hugo, was a jeweller and metalworker. Several other men settled with them and they formed the community of St. Nicolas of Oignies, adopting the rule of St. Augustine. In 1192, St Nicolas of Oignies was officially recognized as a priory by the order of the Canons of St. Augustine. Gilles becomes the first prior, a position that he held for 41 years. The community built a church dedicated to St. Nicolas, which was consecrated in 1204. Following major alterations it was reconsecrated in 1226. In circa 1230, Hugo presented to the monastery a manuscript and silver book covers, the book cover depicting Hugo as a layman, and the monastery's patron saint St. Nicolas.

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