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La Roche-en-Ardenne
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An old mountainous massif from the primary era, eroded through the millennia, the Ardennes today assumes the form of a plateau with vast horizons and a relief dug by many incised valleys.

Situated in the Province of Luxembourg, La Roche is a small town dominated by an old, medieval castle. Built on a meander of the Ourthe, one of the main rivers that drain the Ardennes massif, it is an ideal starting point for the many paths that cross the surrounding countryside.

In the Middle Ages, La Roche was the centre of a county under the purview of the Duchy of Luxembourg, that covered a vast territory. Excavations at the castle have revealed the halls of the castle turned into a fortress at the end of the 17th century by the architects of Louis XIV.

A large part of the town was destroyed in December 1944. There is an interesting, well arranged museum, with an impressive collection of war materiel, on the main street.

Tourist circuits from La Roche

Touring around La Roche is an inexhaustible source of discoveries: numerous centres of interest, easy to reach via pleasant roads through changing landscapes. The valleys of the Rivers Salm, Amblève, Aisne, Lomme, Lesse, Sûre and Wiltz are nearby; even the Semois and the Meuse are less than an hour away. Particularly worth citing, within a 25 km radius from a bird's eye view are:

  • Saint Hubert, European capital of nature and hunting: with its basilica (built between 1526 and 1564), the Church of Saint Gilles-au-Pré (dating from 1034; the choir from 1567), plus the Abbey Palace, the Pierre-Joseph Redouté Museum, the Saint-Michel Furnace: Museum of Iron and Ancient Metallurgy, the Museum of the History of the Ardennes Forest, and the Museum of Rural Life in Wallonia
  • Nassogne: Collegiate church of Saint Monon (rebuilt in 1661; Romanesque choir, polychrome angels dating from +/- 1700, attributed to Del Cour).
  • Ambly: The farm-brewer of Saint-Momon, open on weekends in season
  • Marche: A fine example of restoring and rehabilitating the architectural heritage; in particular, the Church of Saint Remacle (end of the 15th century), the Maison Jadot (17th century) and the Famenne Museum, Museum of the Franks, the Carmelite Quarter , the Lace Museum and, in Waha, the Romanesque Church of Saint Etienne (1050) with its stained glass by Folon.
  • Rochefort and Han Caves which are known throughout the world; its "Feather Garden" is also worth seeing.
  • Durbuy, an old small town, Tohogne (Romanesque church) and Wéris (with its church dating from 1050, its dolmens and the megalith museum), and an appointment with prehistory.
  • Houffalize: Church of Saint Catherine, the Verheggen and Segnia Museum (Ardennes flora and fauna section; archaeological excavations section), Houtopia; the Romanesque church of Cherain (beginning of the 11th century) is a few kilometres away.
  • Bastogne: a city famous for the heroic resistance put up by the Allied troops who were surrounded during the Von Rundstedt Offensive (1944-45); this battle is commemorated with the Mardasson star-shaped memorial; The Church of Saint Pierre (end of the 15th century), its dungeon (12th century) and polychrome vault are remarkable. Then there is the Museum of History and Archaeology, the Museum of Religious Art, Traditions and Popular Beliefs on "Piconrue."

Most of the tourist regions of Wallonia are within an hour's drive:

  • The valley of the River Semois, with Bouillon, Frahan, and the "Tombeau du Géant" [Giant's Tomb];
  • The valley of the River Meuse (simply marvellous between Hastière and Dinant), the castles of Freyr, Vêves, Annevoie and Lavaux-Ste-Anne;
  • Namur, Huy, Liège and their important artistic heritage;
  • Verviers, Spa, Francorchamps, the High Fenns, the River Amblève and its Coo falls; the picturesque valleys in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Sûre, Wiltz, Our);
  • Arlon, capital of the Province of Luxembourg and its Gallo-Roman Museum.