Originally it was a Benedictine monastery, founded by Saint Landelinus about 637. Before 974 the Benedictines were replaced by secular clerics leading a common life, who, however, embraced the Rule of St. Augustine in 1144.
At the instance of Henry de Leyen, Bishop of Liège, it came into the hands of Cistercian monks from Clairvaux in 1147, under Franco de Morvaux as its first Cistercian abbot. From that time onwards it flourished as a Cistercian monastery.
The French burned it at the end of the 18th century, only a short time after it had been rebuilt on a larger scale. The library, which contained 40,000 books and 5,000 manuscripts, was also destroyed.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Ott, Michael (1913). "Aulne Abbey". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 16. New York: Robert Appleton. Endbotes:
- Boulmont (1898). L'abbaye d'Aulne, ou origines, splendeurs, epreuves, et ruines de la perle monastique d'Entre-Sambre-et Meuse. Namur.
- Cloquet (1904). L'abbeye d'Aulne. Mons.
- Lebrocquy (1862). Histoire de l'abbaye d'Aulne. Paris.