Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg

Monastry building

In 1903, priests of the German Order of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) buy the farm in Cinqfontaines in order to build a novitiate for the formation of future brothers. In 1906-1907, the new monastery was built in the neo-Romanesque style. Stones from the directly adjacent quarry were used. The plans for the monastery and the chapel were drawn up by the German architect Johannes F. Klomp (1865-1946). Originally, the monastery was to be larger, but these plans are not realized. In 1924, the construction of the new farmhouse (which still exists today) is completed. Until the Second World War, mainly German novices complete their probationary period in Cinqfontaines.

In March 1941, the monastery was dissolved by the Nazis and the priests were expelled. As a result, from 1941 to 1943, the monastery is misused by the Nazis as a place of internment for the Jews of Luxembourg, under the cover term “Jewish Retirement Home”. The monastery building contains the bedrooms, recreation rooms, dining room, kitchen and laundry of the “Retirement Home”. The house is not equipped for the accommodation of the elderly and the sick. Moreover, the building is completely overcrowded at times.

In 1954 the Sacred Heart Priests return to Cinqfontaines. In 1955, the German Province of the Order of the Sacred Heart transferred the monastery to the new Vice-Province of Luxembourg-Wallonia, which had been created in 1954. The monastery then became a novitiate again. In 1961 the last novices completed their training in Cinqfontaines. By this time, about 200 novices had received their religious formation there. The monastery subsequently serves as a religious retreat, so that in the following decades numerous people spend retreats there to recuperate. Students also stop there to prepare for final exams.

Over the years, the number of priests living in the monastery decreases and fewer and fewer people also come to Cinqfontaines to rest, which is why it becomes increasingly difficult for the Sacred Heart Priests to cover the maintenance costs of the monastery. Therefore, in December 2020, the order decides to sell the monastery and the associated buildings and land to the Luxembourg state. Shortly afterwards, on 27 January 2021, the Luxembourg State and the Luxembourg Jewish Community sign an agreement stating that a memorial and educational center will be built there.