Since 1986 the museum Piconrue is establisehd in the old abbey called “Bethlehem” of Bastogne (B). The former Congregation of recollective- nuns coming from Dinant was founded in 1628. Magnificent arches remember the building of the 17th century. The timberwork is of so fine quality that it ranks among the attractions of Bastogne. The French Revolution had nationalized the abbey, and only in 1807, the bishop of Metz could buy it back. In 1837 the bishop of Namur altered it into a “small seminary”. The old building became than an annex to the new extension. The Franciscan nuns will stay at Bastogne until 1981.
The most precious collection of the museum counts more than 65.000 objects concerning with ethnics, profane and religious rites, legends and piety in the Ardennes and Luxembourg. The wealth of the collections comes from the fact that Museum Piconrue is the point of receipt for artworks coming from different parishes. Thus the visitor of the museum will discover famous painting, jewelry, statues cut in wood, ancient books.
Some items which had been useful in daily life remember important events of life, testify profane and religious rites, remember the moments of birth and death. They make reconsider pleasure, harm, trouble and hope. Some 20.030 photographs constituting the collection Dauchot, reflect an impressive image of what faith meant in the Ardennes during the years 1930 - 1960.