One of the most beautiful equestrian statues in Brussels depicts the famous Medieval knight known as Godfrey of Bouillon, who know presides over the Royal Square. Although he was born in France, he became the Lord of the town of Bouillon and, according to a legend, he led the First Crusade. He even became the ruler of Jerusalem, although he opted for the title of Protector of the Holy Tomb instead of King.
Today, Bouillon is a rather forgotten town near the French border, where the biggest attraction is a Medieval fortress that dramatically clings over the houses that line the Semois river and from where the Crusade departed. For some time, Bouillon was a duchy which enjoyed a great autonomy within the German Empire, until 1975, when it was annexed by France and subsequently by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
La Roche-en-Ardenne is other of the most popular little towns in the province of Luxemburg. A quintessential Ardennes town, it is beautifully located in a meander of the the river Ourthe, around the ruins of a Medieval fortress. In Summer, the town can get really crowded with hikers, mountain-bikers and kayakers.
Nestled in valley of the river Ourthe, Durbuy claims to be the smallest city in the world. It is actually just a tiny town, like there are many in the Ardennes region, but it was granted the title of city as late as the XIV century by John I, Count of Luxembourg, when it still had some significance as a trade centre and defensive post. Nowadays, due to its picturesque Medieval looking lanes and the beauty of its environs, it has become one of the major tourist attractions in the Ardennes.
In the town itself, restaurants, antique shops and souvenir shops have taken in most of the old buildings, whereas the surrounding area has become a well known centre for adventure sport and outdoor activities.
Guarding the Ourthe river, the château de Durbuy, is the most monumental structure in town. It dates back to the XI Century, but the current building was erected in the XVIII Century by the Earls of Ursel.
Other noteworthy old buildings include the Church of Saint Nicholas and the Wheat Hall, used in ancient times as the administration and jurisdiction centre of the town. Today, it has been turned into an exhibition hall.
Every 11th of november there is a hunters market in Bouillon. At this market you can buy the game, meat, sausages, skins or other products. But also products from the area like tabacco, special marmelades, wine and other spirits.
The market is in the center of Bouillon. It is always very busy. So it can be a pain to find a parking spot.
There are not a lot of options for hotels in Bastogne so this ended up being the most expensive...more
My wife and I wanted to go away for the Easter holidays. As she had been to Durbuy some 20 years ago...more
23, rue Au-dessus de la Ville, (formerly Auberge du Panorama), Bouillon, 6830, Belgium
Good for: Families