La abadía de Grimbergen ha quedado reducida a cenizas tres veces y, en cada ocasión, ha renacido con más fuerza. De ahí que haya adoptado el lema de «ardet nec consumitur», que significa «quemada pero no destruida».
In the population of Grimbergen, these three words are etched in fire: Ardet Nec Consumitur. It is the motto of the abbey and means «Burnt, but not destroyed» (may have other local translations).
A true reminder of the dramatic history of Grimbergen Abbey. A story whose origins date back to the Middle Ages, when Norbert van Xanten adopted the name Norbert and founded the Premonstratensian Order.
In 1128, the lords of Grimbergen commissioned him to build an abbey and he made their wish come true.
In 1142, the lords of Grimbergen rebelled against the Duke of Brabant. That episode triggered the Grimbergen War.
For the first time, the abbey was completely razed and reduced to ashes. But the ambitious monks rebuilt it, stone by stone.
After that first reconstruction, the abbey prospered in the hop fields that surround the town.
However, in 1566, during the religious wars, it was destroyed again. The monks were forced to abandon the abbey. They fled to Brussels, where they sought refuge until peace was restored in Grimbergen.
In 1629, the friars laid the last stone of their new abbey and it is not difficult to imagine the celebrations that took place when the brewmaster returned to the town.
From that moment on, they adopted the phoenix as a symbol of rebirth in their coat of arms, accompanied by the motto:
ARDET NEC CONSUMITUR.