Orval Abbey, named in french Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval, is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1132 in the Gaume region of Belgium and is located in Villers-devant-Orval, part of Florenville, Wallonia in the province of Luxembourg.
The Abbey was built over a Merovingian site, already used as a cult place by the autochthonous. Tradition tells that in 1070, a group of Benedictine monks from Calabria settled there, following the invitation of Arnould, Count of Chiny, and Conrad I, Count of Luxembourg, and began construction of a church and a monastery, that was later developed in the Abbey.
Those calabrian monks, are believed to be the Knight from the Holy Land, initiated to the Priory of Sion by Godfrey de Buillon himself, and that the Count’s generosity was due to the will to establish the Priory of Sion Headquarters. It’s told that after the arrival of the monks in Orval, that the Order acquired the french name, Prieuré de Sion.