The Grimbergen Abbey has been burned to the ground three times and come back stronger in every instance, resulting in the motto “ardet nec consumitur”, meaning “burned but not destroyed”.
Three legendary words there will never be forgotten in the town of Grimbergen: Ardet Nec Consumitur.
It is the motto of the Abbey and hold the meaning "Burned, but not destroyed" (can have other local translations).
A true reminder to the dramatic history of the Grimbergen Abbey. A history that origins back to the Middle Ages when Norbert van Xanten took the name of Norbertus and founded the Premonstratensian Order.
In 1128, the lords of Grimbergen asked him to build an abbey and he granted them their wish.
In 1142, the lords of Grimbergen revolted against the Duke of Brabant. This was the beginning of the War of Grimbergen.
The abbey was for the first time burned to the ground and completely ruined. The ambitious Fathers rebuilt it stone by stone.
After its first reconstruction, the abbey flourished like the fields of hops surrounding the town.
But in 1566, during the wars of religion, it was destroyed for the second time. The Fathers were forced to abandon their abbey.
They fled to Brussels where they sought shelter, until peace once again was restored in Grimbergen.
In 1629 the Fathers put the last hand to their new abbey and one can only imagine how the celebration went on, when the Master Brewer returned to town.
From that moment on, they adopted the phoenix as a symbol of rebirth in their coat of arms,
alongside the our slogan and motto:
ARDET NEC CONSUMITUR.