local history around La Calestienne

The Ecomuseum of the Viroin region , at 13 km from La Calestienne, has been organised in the castle farm of Treignes. Here the university of Brussels studies rural technologies of the nineteenth century. Their museal collection of artefacts concerning wood- and leatherwork, the stone and metal industries, and machinery used in agriculture surely deserves your visit.
The organisation Les Plus Beaux Villages de la Wallonie or "The most beautiful villages of Wallonia" tries to conserve the local character of these villages and stimulates the revalorisation of their being. Members of this organisation in the neighbourhood are Vierves, Fagnolle, Lompret and Soulme.
  At the confluence of the Eau Noire and Eau Blanche forming the Viroin river, at 2 km from La Calestienne, some buildings of the former Tannerie Houben is still surviving: a beautiful example of local industrial archeology.  
Till the beginning of the twentiest century nearly each village in this area possessed its own lime kiln(s), of which at least fifty remnants are still being conserved in the southern part of the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse area. (Nearly) nobody pays attention  to these witnesses of a no longer existing industry, and they are located at the edge of meadows and along roads so you can see them without paying.
The Museum of Cerfontaine, at 18 km from La Calestienne,  forms a school example of how musea came into existance in the early twentiest century: a very diverse collection of all kinds of objects of local origin, installated in the old  desaffected train station.
Also the Tour Salamandre or Salamander tower in Beaumont is a beautiful example of very local musea: like in Cerfontaine you can find here a very divers collection of objects related to local history: documents concerning the earliest history of Beaumont, its tower and fortifications, reproductions of miniatures of Charles de Cro˙; the passage of Napoleon is illustrated, .... Here the museum is located in a nearly thirty meters high living tower, with a splendid panoramic view from the topfloor.
  A still more specific museum you can find in Senzeille, at 16 km from La Calestienne: in the small livingroom of a common house you can see the only object of this museum, the Astronomic Clockwork of Lucien Charlotteaux. This clockwork has been built at the switch between nineteenth and twentiest century. A wooden cabinet houses a multitude of faces, indicating seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months, years, centuries and so on.
  The Glass Museum in Trelon, at 35 km from La Calestienne, has been organised in a former glass factory. From 1823 this factory produced bottles of all kind, and from 1914 on scent-bottles; 1977 was closingtime for this business. A beautiful round oven from the nineteenth century forms the masterpiece of this museum. In the afternoon the museum organises guided tours and glass-blowing performances.
Till now I drew up un inventory of nearly five hundred boundary posts in the southern part of the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse area: from banal small concrete stakes, small poles in local stone without any inscriptions till heavy massive limestone blocs with beautiful escutcheons and concrete constructions of more than one and a half meter high to hinder the passage of vehicles. This boundary posts are logically situated on frontiers but not necesarily on the French-Belgian frontier; they are not in musea so you can always go and see them for free.   
  The Espace Arthur Masson in Treignes, at 12 km from La Calestienne, renders hommage to Arthur Masson, a local writer. Eleven threedimensionnal decors reflect the lifestyle from the beginnings of the twenthieth century and dialoges from the works of Arthur Masson in local Wallonian dialect are simultaneously translated in English.
  The Metallurgy Museum in Bogny, at 50 km from La Calestienne, has been installated in an old nailfactory, where a bellow driven by dogs has been conservated. This museum reflects the once abundant iron industry in the French and Belgian Ardennes.


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