geology in the neighbourhood of La Calestienne
The limestone area or Calestienne mesures only five or six kilometers in north-south direction. North of it you find the Fagne with geologically younger layers slate and Frasnian coral reefs that are rich in fossils. South of the limestone area are the Ardennes with its older quatzites and slate that are poor in fossils.
The area is also important for the type-localities of the Couvinan, Givetian and Frasnian .

One of the most well-known quarries where red "marble" has been exploited is Carrière Beauchâteau in Senzeille at 13 km of La Calestienne. It's now a protected site where you still can see how this stone was extracted. Drilling cores from the initial drilling holes are still spread all over, a huge volume of stone has been sawed and stands waiting to be pulled down, the factory hall built with briques, concrete and waste blocks of "marble" keeps standing upright as do the factory chimney. In the smooth and vertical walls you can see lots of fossils; certainly the corrals, brachyopods and crinoïds are abundant.

 At 20 km from La Calestienne the  Marblemuseum of Rance has been organized in the former municipal hall. 
Close to this museum you can go and have a look at the church and cemetery: the church has been replenished with different marbles from the region and at the cemetery you can find some beautiful red marble monuments.
On both sides of the Belgian-french frontier you can find the geologically oldest stones of Belgium (Cambrium) and remnants of the former slate industry: entrances of slate mines, huge waste pile. In Fumay and Haybes you still can discover beautiful dry slate walls with (among others) rustyback, and garden walls made of big slabs of purple slate.  
In the Mineral Museum of Bogny, at 40 km from La Calestienne, you can see a beautiful collection of trilobites from Vireux, completed with comparable fossils from elsewhere.

Between Najauge and Vireux, just passed the Belgian-French borderline,at 16 km from La Calestienne, you can find theCustoms Officer's Wall: a trilobites deposit in the Couvinian level (Middle Devonian). Nowadays this place is one of the first geologic reserves of France so you are not longer allowed to extract fossils here.

"La Calestienne"
Rue Saint Roch, 111 B-5670 Nismes Belgium
GSM: +32/494.355.705.   E-mail:
IBAN BE66-86370490-1743     BIC
©Chris Vanbeveren 2021