Today we left Belgium, and spent the morning driving to our hotel in Chamouille, France, just outside Laon. We enjoyed lunch at the hotel’s restaurant overlooking a lake, and then boarded the bus bound for Prémontré. Norbertine scholar Martine Plouvier was our guide, with Rose Condette translating. Norbert was an itinerant preacher, but the bishop said he needed to settle in a location. Prémontré had been owned by the Benedictines, but they deserted the place, and Norbert chose that site. The altar of the first chapel Norbert had constructed using masons from France and Cologne cracked in half, so everything was torn down and a new chapel was built and dedicated around Christmas. Prémontré was a large abbey with many buildings, but much of it was destroyed during the French Revolution. The wall around the property had four entrances, to welcome people from all directions of the world. The buildings that remain intact are from the 17th and 18th centuries, although many were again damaged in WWI and had to be restored. Most of the property is now a psychiatric hospital.