Fire damages Rochefort Trappist beer abbey in Belgium
A 13th-Century Belgian abbey famous for its brewery has been damaged by fire but the monks escaped unhurt and the vats survived intact.
The Trappist (Cistercian) monks were dining when fire broke out at the abbey at St Remy-Rochefort, famous for its Rochefort beer.
The building was evacuated and it took 70 firefighters to put out the blaze.
It seems the blaze began near a generator being used temporarily after problems with the power supply.
Francois Bellot, mayor of Rochefort, said he was confident that it would be possible to resume beer production within a few days.
Rochefort is one of only five breweries making Trappist beer, which is seen as a gold standard for connoisseurs of the drink.
Archives show the abbey has been producing beer since 1595 and it is known today for producing one of the strongest brews, with 12% alcohol.
The abbey has been destroyed on two previous occasions: by the troops of Lorraine in 1650 and again during the French revolution.