A tapestry of sites, legends and commemoration

Nestled in Southern Belgium, Wallonia beckons visitors with its captivating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and fascinating folklore. From its UNESCO World Heritage sites to the enchanting tales passed down through generations, Wallonia offers a tapestry of experiences that will leave you spellbound.

Immerse yourself in the UNESCO sites that dot the region, each telling a unique story. Start your journey at the Belfries of Wallonia, a collection of medieval bell towers that stand as proud symbols of the region’s past. These architectural gems not only offer panoramic views but also serve as reminders of Wallonia’s thriving trade and civic life.

Include the Belfry of Mons on your itinerary, one of six in Wallonia
Include the Belfry of Mons on your itinerary, one of six in Wallonia, © Gregory Mathelot.

Next, venture into the heart of nature at the Historic Centre of Spa. Known as the birthplace of balneotherapy, this town boasts natural springs that have attracted visitors seeking wellness and relaxation for centuries. Indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments and soak in the tranquil ambiance that has drawn the likes of royalty and nobility throughout history.

As you traverse the picturesque landscape, be sure to explore the Mining Sites of Wallonia. Step into the world of coal miners and gain insight into their daily lives as you descend into the depths of the earth. These industrial sites provide a profound glimpse into Wallonia’s industrial past and the hardships endured by the region’s mining communities.

Wallonia’s allure extends beyond its UNESCO sites (which can be discovered via a cycling route). Delve into the realm of local legends and immerse yourself in the mystique that surrounds the region. Discover the legend of the Ducasse de Mons, a vibrant carnival that celebrates the triumph of St. George over the dragon. Join the festivities, marvel at the colorful costumes, and witness the captivating reenactment of this ancient tale.

Don't worry, the drago of Ducasse in Mons doesn't breathe fire!
Don’t worry, the drago of Ducasse in Mons doesn’t breathe fire! © Gregory Mathelot.

For a more haunting experience, venture to the Castle of Bouillon. Perched majestically on a rocky outcrop, this medieval fortress is said to be haunted by the specter of Godfrey of Bouillon, a legendary knight from the First Crusade. Explore its ancient halls, listen to the echoes of the past, and let your imagination transport you to a bygone era.

Step back to the time of the Crusades at Chateau de Bouillon, Wallonia
Step back to the time of the Crusades at Chateau de Bouillon, Wallonia, © Holger Bernert.

Wallonia also stands as a testament to the resilience and courage of its people. Visit the Mardasson Memorial in Bastogne, a powerful commemoration of the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. Pay tribute to the soldiers who fought valiantly and sacrificed their lives for freedom. The memorial serves as a solemn reminder of the region’s tumultuous past and the indomitable spirit of its inhabitants.

In Wallonia, history comes alive, and every corner reveals a new story to be discovered. From the UNESCO sites that bear witness to its heritage to the legends that ignite the imagination and the commemoration sites that honor the sacrifices of the past, Wallonia invites you to embark on a journey that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Honor the fallen in somber elegance at the Mardasson Memorial
Honor the fallen in somber elegance at the Mardasson Memorial, © Arnaud Siquet.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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