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Cistercian monks built the abbey of Val-Dieu in 1216. It is located in a valley with a stream to enable agricultural and brewing activities. Cistercian orders are well-known for their brewing skills. Their beer production remained limited to the local level. And in 2001 the last monks left the abbey.
Today you can visit the abbey, and its watermill. In the abbey there are often exhibitions and in the watermill is a restaurant.
Since 1997 the brewery started again. The only difference with the past is that beers are nowadays brewed by a layman. The beers of Val-Dieu are brewed in the buildings of the abbey and according to the old recipe.
You can taste the beer in the Self Service restaurant and terrace Au Casse-Croute de l'Abbaye.
There is a blond, brown and triple variety.
You can also visit the brewery:
By Appointmant for groups of 12 persons or more.
A guide (Dutch - French - German - English) shows the abbey and the brewery in a 1,5 hour tour. Price per person: 3,00€ (or 40,00€ for a smaller group)
See the website or call the phone number for bookings.
Written Jun 13, 2004
Phone: +32 (0)87 687 587
What seems to be a typical gray city, like so many in the area, has a beautifull part on the top of the hill.
The old part of Limbourg is situated on the top of the hill. A perfect place for the fortress town. Since 1033 a castle dominated the area. Situated in a strategic important part of Belgium it was constantly under siege. in the 18th cnetury the castle was torn down and the current historic village was built.
A great place for some nice pictures and a cup of coffee on the village square. Not more than an hour is needed to visit.
See the travelogue to get an idea of what there is to see there.
Updated Jun 10, 2004
In this cemetery you will find the graves of 7989 men who gave their lives during the liberation of Belgium in the Ardennes around september 1944.
The memorial and graveyard are built by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
The crosses are neatly placed in rows with a circulair structure in it. The memorial is also a small museum telling about the wars.
daily 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
except December 25 and January 1.
More about this graveyard in our travelogue.
Updated Jun 10, 2004
Address: rue de Mémorial Americain, Hombourg
Phone: +32 (0)87 68 71 73
The Gileppe dam near Eupen is worth a visit. Next to the damn is a large tower (77,60 meters high) from which the view must be magnificant. But as you can see in the picture, we didn't have such bright weather during our visit. So we didn't bother to pay 1.50 Euro to see an all gray surrounding.
The dam itself was inaugurated on July 28, 1878 by King Leopold II. From 1967 to 1971, the dam is heightened, making its capacity 26,4 million m3 with a surface of 130 hectares. The lake is fed primarily by the river Gileppe. The total height of the dam is 64 meters. The lion on the dam weighs 300 tons, its height is 13,5m, lenght 16 m and width 5m. It was carved by Felix-Antoine Bouré.
Written May 27, 2004
I'm going to make a bold statement; Kelmis has the most interesting history of all places in Belgium! Are you shocked now? What can be so interesting about such a small place? Well, brace yourself; less than a century ago this small town was the capital of a country! Yes, that's right. This country was named Neutral-Moresnet and was founded in 1816, when Napoleon had been defeated and new borders were drawn. In Kelmis was an important zinc-mine that both the Netherlands and Prussia wanted to have. Instead it became neutral territory ruled by representants of both the Dutch and the Prussian governments. The Dutch commisary was replaced by a Belgian one in 1830, even though the Netherlands never withdrew its claim on the territory. Neutral-Moresnet had the shape of a sharp triangle with its upper angle reaching the current Three Countries Point near Vaals, The Netherlands, which then was still a Four Countries Point.
The picture shows one of the town's churches, the Mariä Himmelfahrt. A plaque commemorates the young men from Neutral-Moresnet who died in World War One. The neutral status of the place didn't prevent many of its inhabitants from being drafted by both Belgium and Prussia. In 1919 the small country ceased to exist and was annexed by Belgium. The fomerly German-speaking town since has been subject to Frenchification and is now also known as La Calamine.
Updated Mar 2, 2004
That all the thermal establishments are called after this tiny Belgian town in the language of the Anglo-Saxons, tells a lot about the quality of the thermal springs located here. The mineral water bottled under the brand name "Spa" is still one of the most consummed in Belgium.
Written Feb 9, 2004
Liège is Wallonia's largest city. It is often called the "burning city". I do not know whether this is due to the fact that its inhabitants are very warmhearted or to its glorious industrial past as the capital of metallurgy in Belgium.
This is a picture of the palace of the Prince-bishops, the landmark of Liege. You can see more pictures in my Liège page.
Updated Feb 5, 2004
This monument on top of the Maquisard hill, is in honor of the unknown underground fighters in the second world war. Many of them were hiding in the nearby wooded hills of the Ardennes.
Written May 27, 2004