Stavelot stävlō´ [key], Du. Stablo, small town, Liège prov., E Belgium, in the Ardennes. It developed around a Benedictine abbey founded c.650. The abbots were later princes of the Holy Roman Empire until their land was secularized in the French Revolutionary Wars. Until 1815 the principality included the Malmédy region, which then passed to Prussia, while Stavelot passed to the Netherlands and later to Belgium. In World War II, the Germans captured Stavelot (Dec., 1944) in the Battle of the Bulge and massacred a number of U.S. prisoners of war held nearby.
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