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Presentation

The region appears as a wide and high rocky plateau with many different reliefs: stone, valleys with often very deep hillsides, undulating agricultural plateaus or large forest areas, which are particularly characteristic of the Central Ardennes.

The landscapes of the north-east Ardennes, on the other hand, have evolved uniquely. Adjoining the Pays de Herve, the north-eastern plateau has witnessed the development of bocage-type landscapes.

Natural heritage

The region appears as a wide and high rocky plateau with many different reliefs: stone, valleys with often very deep hillsides, undulating agricultural plateaus or large forest areas, which are particularly characteristic of the Central Ardennes. The area belongs to the Openfield model, a landscape with unfenced fields.

However, on the high plateau of the region, the poor to average quality of the soils and the harsher climate conditions have encouraged the development of grazing as the main agricultural activity. This means that the cattle eat the grass on the spot. The woods are divided into plots or dense forests. Due to the abandonment of agricultural practices at the end of the 19th century, these days you will see more and more coniferous trees in the forests. As for cultivated land, it occupies part of the plateau as well as the less steep hillsides.

The landscapes of the north-east Ardennes, on the other hand, have evolved uniquely. Adjoining the Pays de Herve, the north-eastern plateau has witnessed the development of bocage-type landscapes. This is a rarer configuration where hedges or shrubs close the meadows partially. The habitat is relatively homogeneous throughout the region, characterised by groups of houses in villages and hamlets. To the west, the charming villages are rather concentrated, while they are less dense to the east. The traditional core of the village is generally made up of houses arranged in a disorderly fashion and separated by gardens and meadows.

Heritage buildings

The traditional Ardennes building was designed to respond to the difficult climatic conditions, namely the cold and damp. To protect from the cold and reduce catching the wind, you can see that the materials used on the outside are low-thickness stones and a gently sloping roof. To further limit heat loss, the general shape of the building is a square, block floor. The orientation of the building also plays a role.

The gables of the houses, lit by many windows, face south to maximise solar gain. Whereas access to the different parts of the house is usually made through the eastern wall. The walls are windowless to protect the house from the cold northern winds and the western rain to the north and west. Inside, the arrangement also contributes to the overall protection of the house. Adjacent to the living area, the barn provides an effective thermal buffer thanks to the heat released by the livestock. Finally, stored under the roof, the hay reserves are a natural insulating mattress.

The dominant buildings are the so-called “single-block three-section farms”. You can see many of them in the charming villages of the Ardennes. It is a single block farmhouse divided into three narrow sections: the dwelling, the stable and the barn. These are massive one or two-storey buildings with a slightly sloping slate roof. We can recognise the oldest traditional houses by their roofs, made of “chèrbins”. These are thick pieces of asymmetrical slate set in a bed of clay. On the façades, shale and shale sandstone are very characteristic rocks of the region; stones with grey shades constitute the majority of the masonry. Previously, we used to cover the stones with a light-coloured plaster or whitewash.

Maison du Tourisme du Coeur de l’Ardenne
Place du Marché, 15, 6980 La Roche-en-Ardenne
Tél. : +32 (0) 84 36 77 36
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News

  • Our

THE ROMANTIC NIGHT

Agenda News

Experience a magical and romantic night in the heart of our Most Beautiful Villages of Wallonia

  • Mirwart

NEW/ Mirwart Castle: hotel - restaurant - event venue

Uncategorized

Are you looking for a place to stay for a weekend, a gastronomic break, an event or a seminar? Then come to the enchanting setting of Mirwart Castle!

  • Falaën

NEW/ Forge-Toi in Falaën

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Opening of a kitchen with character in the beautiful village of Falaën (Onhaye).

  • Crupet

Passeur de Terroir - Crupet

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Marcel Dauwen is a passionate volunteer. For years he has been looking after the "Little Heritage", especially that of Crupet, his favourite village.

  • Aubechies
  • Barbençon
  • Celles
  • Chardeneux
  • Chassepierre
  • Clermont-sur-Berwinne
  • And other villages

NEW/ Welcome to the new website of the Most Beautiful Villages of Wallonia!

Uncategorized

A new design and new features for our new website! We explain it all to you!

  • Sosoye

"L'eau de vie" de Sosoye, par Norska

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Circuit "Six steps towards Art between Samson and Lesse": "L’eau de vie de Sosoye", imagined and realised by the artist Norska, has just found its place in the heart of the village of Sosoye!

  • Mozet
  • Thon-Samson

Six steps towards art between Samson and Lesse

Uncategorized

Call for projects for the villages of Thon-Samson and Mozet

  • Wéris

The "Four Musical Seasons of the BWV" - Act III: CLASSICAL / WORLD MUSIC CONCERT

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DUO KIASMA (Pierre Fontenelle on cello and Frin Wotter on accordion) will perform works by: Vivaldi - Rameau - Villa-Lobos - Piazzola - Garcia-Fons- Traditional Irish music)

  • Limbourg

Romantic WALK

Agenda Uncategorized

Walk of +/- 5Km around the village along roads, paths and meadows

  • Saint-Remy-Geest

The NETWORK of the Most Beautiful Villages of Wallonia is growing!

News

Het dorp SAINT-REMY-GEEST, gelegen in de gemeente JODOIGNE, is toegetreden tot "Les Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie"!

  • Chassepierre
  • Nobressart
  • Torgny
Ferme classée à Torgny

ARTISTIC PHOTO CONTEST

News

Are you a professional photographer, an enthusiast or just an amateur?
Take part in our first photo competition and showcase the beauty of our region.

  • Aubechies
  • Barbençon
  • Celles
  • Chardeneux
  • Chassepierre
  • Clermont-sur-Berwinne
  • And other villages

CITIZENS' DEBATES ON URBAN SPRAWL!

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Between October and December 2020, the "Arènes du Territoire" were organised by the eight Maisons de l'Urbanisme with the aim of reflecting on the issues affecting Walloon regional planning. 

  • Wéris

Landschappelijke en stedenbouwkundige analyse van het dorp Wéris

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The Houses of Urbanism of the "Most Beautiful Villages in Wallonia" and "Famenne-Ardenne" invite you to discover or rediscover the Village of Wéris.

  • Celles
village_celles

Easter concert "PHENIX" in Celles

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The association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Wallonia proposes, on the airwaves of several local TV stations, a concert recorded in the Collegiate Church of Saint-Hadelin in Celles.

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The association Les Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie (The Most Beautiful Villages of Wallonia) oversees a network of 31 villages, bearers of a strong territorial identity and reflecting traditional architecture. It is committed to promoting the rural, cultural and natural heritage of Wallonia and is a part of the development of local and responsible tourism.