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World War

Routes to the past in French-speaking Belgium

The 'Battle of the Ardennes' was the final confrontation of the Second World War that took place on Belgian soil between 16 December 1944 and 28 January 1945. Many lived through it, others have heard about it, but nobody today can remain indifferent about this decisive episode.

Every year, not only in Bastogne but also in La Roche-en-Ardenne, Hotton, Houffalize Malmedy, Sankt Vith, Marche-en-Famenne, Vielsalm, or in Neuville-en-Condroz or Henri-Chapelle as well as in other places, villages and towns in Wallonia, we remember! We remember with emotion, reverence and respect these soldiers who came from overseas to bring peace into our towns, villages and homes, and paid a very heavy price.

It is our wish to express our "duty of remembrance" through this brochure that will guide you from towns to villages, from memorial stones to monuments, from museums to sites or military cemeteries. Also, it;s an opportunity to discover "down memory lane" the present day aspects of these regions of Wallonia, which, while not forgetting the historical past, offer you the most beautiful aspects of convivial tourism, in which the proximity and the glow of living punctuate our suggestions for relaxing or unusual discoveries.

ROUTE 1: The British in the battle
Itinerary: This route starts at Florennes, and goes through de towns and villages of Dinant, Celles, Rochefort, Bure Saint Hubert, Champlon, Bande, Marche-en-Famenne Hotton and finally La Roche-en-Ardenne.
ROUTE 2: Bastogne

Itinerary: This route starts at Bastogne, and goes through the following towns and villages: Bizory, Recogne, Noville Mageret, Neffe, Marvie, Villers-La-Bonne-Eau, Assenois Senonchamps, Hemroulle, Champs, Longchamps and finally back Bastogne (Place Merceny).

ROUTE 3: The breakthrough of the German 6th panzer army

Itinerary: This route starts at Henri Chapelle, and runs through the villages and towns of Eupen, Elsenborn Krinkelt-Rocherath, Büllingen, Bütgenbach, Baugnez Ligneuville, Saint Vith, Poteau, Vielsalm, Grand Halleux Neufmoulin, Trois-Ponts and finally La Gleize.

ROUTE 4: The stopping of the 6th and 5th German Panzer Armies

Itinerary: This route starts at Neuville-en-Condroz, and runs through the villages and towns of Raboze-Baillonville Marche-en-Famenne & Verdenne, Hotton Melines-Soy Sadzot, Grandmenil, Manhay, Malempre, Bra-sur-Lienne Trois-Ponts, Stavelot, Malmedy, La Gleize and finally Werbomont.

ROUTE 5: Patton and his 4th Armored Division
Itinerary: This route starts at Bastogne, and runs through the villages and towns of Roche-en-Ardenne, Marcourt-Marcouray, Beffe, Dochamps, Samree, Baraque de Fraiture Bovigny, Wibrin and finally Houffalize.

World War II
AMERICAN MILITARY CEMETERIES

Ardennes America Cemetery Neuville-en-Condroz

This World War II cemetery covers 90 acres and contains the graves of 5,328 American servicemen, many of whom died in the Battle of the Bulge. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the Visitors' Building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites. Directions: Direct trains from Brussels to Liege (62 miles) run every 30 minutes. Taxis and a limited bus service to Neuville-en-Condroz (45 minutes) are available from Liege.

Cemetery Henri-Chapelle - Hombourg.

In this World War II cemetery of 57 acres, rest 7992 American servicemen, many of whom gave their lives during the advance of the U.S. Armed Forces into Germany. The cemetery is located 2 miles west of the village of Henri-Chapelle, which is about 18 miles from Liege. Directions: Trains run from Brussels to Welkenraedt (23 miles west of Liege). The train station is only a short bus or taxi ride from the cemetery.

General Patton

American Battle Monuments Commission

Additional information on American Military cemeteries.

MUSEUMS AND MEMORIALS

Bastogne War Museum

Discover or rediscover one of the most famous battle of the Second War. Bastogne is the place known for the Battle of the Bulges and called by Americans as the stronger battle of the WW II. Through a new area and new spaces, visit this part of the History.

The museum reopened on March 22,2014

Contact: info@bastognewarmuseum.be

The Mardasson Memorial Bastogne

This memorial is a tribute from the Belgian population as a whole to the American nation. Its construction came about thanks to an initiative of the Belgian American Association set up in 1945 and consisting of various Belgian dignitaries who wished to perpetuate the memory of those brave American youths who fell on our soil. Given that the American effort was so decisive here, Bastogne was chosen as the site for the memorial's construction.

Mardasson Monument - Bastogne

Royal Army and Military History Museum - Brussels

The museum offers an insight in the fundamental changes which have taken place in armement and military technology over more than 10 centuries.

NEW: The Royal Army and Military Museum also has a department in Bastogne, the Interpretation Center of the WWII.

Museum December 1944 - La Gleize-Stoumont

The Gillain collection is one of the most important in Europe for uniforms, equipment and American and German badges.

Contact: museum@december44.com

Bastogne Ardennes 44 Bras (Bastogne)

Through a collection of many supplies, weapon, clothes or vehicles, enter into the " Bataille des Ardennes" with sceneries and details all the visit long. Gilles Bouillon, the owner, presents his collection completed through years and patience.

Contact: info@bastogneardennes44museum.com

Museum of the Battle of the Bulge La-Roche-en-Ardenne

The visitor will discover over 120 mannequins of American English, German and even Scottish soldiers with their equipment and armament, as well as uniforms donated by veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. Discover an important collection of light and heavy arms, photographic documents, personal objects and equipment found on the battlefield. Some 20 military vehicles are also on display. Contact: info@batarden.be

I was 20 in '45 in Bastogne Bastogne

Through unpublished testimonies, discover the life of the young people surroundings by a war. Floor by floor, all the sequences of this tragical event are explained. This exhibition is emphasized on the humanity side and it gives another eye on this Episode of History.

Contact: christine.frank@javais20ansabastogne.com & habotte.thierry@skynet.be

Canada War Museum, Adegem-Maldegem

Through many realistic scenes you experience war time. A monumental panorama represents the battle for the Leopold canal in a most impressive way. This museum is unique in Europe.

Fort d'Eben-Emael : This impressive overhang is holding a real little underground city. The lower level houses a living museum. Several rooms have been restored and equipped to their original form : a machine room, showers, an informary,... On the upper level has galleries with diverse artillery works and ammunition in original state.

Open one weekend per month from April to November from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Schedule

Waterloo

Waterloo

The town made famous by Napoleon's great defeat, where he lost against the allied troops commanded by the duke of welligton and the prussian Marshal Blutcher in June 1815, is a heaven for any history buff. 200,000 soldiers from seven different countries fought on June 18th 1815, ending the Napoleonic Era and the reign of Napoleon, Emperor of the French. Every year in June, the battle is re-enacted with 1000 figurants. 2015 will be the 200th anniversary.

waterloo

The Panorama of Waterloo illustrates a key moment in the raging battle. The canvas was painted in 1912 to mark the first centenary of the battle. The dimensions are quite impressive (360 feet round and 40 feet high).

The Wax Museum offers realistic scenes set around the main protagonists in the battle.

The Battlefield Tour (it is one of the largest historical and cultural sites in Europe and one of the best preserved.) allows visitors to discover the main battlefield sites, while travelling along historical paths on board of a specially adapted vehicle with commentaries.

open everyday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm (April to October) and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (November to March). Check time in advance for the Battlefield Tour - Route de Lion 315 - 1410 Waterloo

Wellington Museum :

in the heart of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington made this stagecoach his headquarters during the battle. You can still visit the Duke's bedroom, the office where he wrote He sent from here news of his "Victory Report" to the British government. The museum has a vast collection of educational exhibits, a multitude of original documents, engravings, weapons and other artifacts. The rooms have each been dedicated to an army, and include authentic relics, documents, etchings and weapons of the various nations that took part in the combat. In the final room, the phases of the Battle are depicted through a series of illuminated diagrams.

Open everyday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (April to September) and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (October to March) - Chaussee de Bruxelles 147, 1410 Waterloo

Napoleon's Last Headquarters :

on June 17th 1815, Napoleon and his officers spent the night preparing the battle of Waterloo in this farmhouse. Five rooms including the Emperor's bedroom, contains one of Napoleon's camp beds, the autographs of French Generals involved in the 1815 campaign, maps, a bronze death mask of Napoleon on St Helena and battlefield relics.

Open everyday from 10 am to 6:30 pm (April to September) and from 1:00 to 5:00 pm (October to March)

Closed on Christmas and New Year's days.

By Train:

Every hour, a train departs from Brussels to Waterloo (destination : Nivelles), the tripjourney lasts less than 30 minutes. From Waterloo railway station, it is a 10 minutes away from walk to Waterloo the center (Tourist Office &  Wellington Museum).

By Bus:

Every 20 minutes, the Bus W leaves Brussels Midi for Waterloo. Ticket can be purchased from the driver. The bus stops at the center of Waterloo and near the Battlefield.

Every hour, the Bus 365 leaves Brussels Midi for Waterloo. The bus stops at the center of Waterloo, near the Battlefield & at Napoleon's Last Headquarters in Vieux-Genappe.

The PASS 1815 gives access to the 7 attractions of the battlefield. Buy it at the Waterloo Tourist Office (12 €)

Tours Operators in USA

Alpventures Tours

Offers battle of the Bulge Tours and more.

Historic Tours

WWII tours- offers custom-designed Veterans' Group Travel.

MilSpec Tours

Offers battle of the Bulge tours.

WW 1 & 2 Special Tours

Customized trips of 7 to 14 days which explore the battlefields, monuments, museums memorials, leaders (mainly American military) and history associated with these two incredibly significant events.

2010 Victory in Europe Tours

The tours combine the expertise of local guides, Museum historians, WWII veterans and five-star accommodations to create a memorable, once in lifetime experience.

Battle of the Bulge guided tours

Battle of the Bulge Tours with a specialised tourist guide

Jean-Luc Lemaire : local guide located in Bastogne

Henri Mignon : retired artillery officer of the Belgian Army

Michael Baert

 

Tours Operators Other

Champ de Bataille de Waterloo

The Battlefield Tour is a journey of self discovery through this historic battlefield on board a four wheeled truck. Ticket includes audiovisual show, film, and entrance into the Wax Museum. Email: reservations@waterloo1815.be

Culture Spaces

Thirteen exceptional museums and monuments.

Guides 1815

A visit to the Waterloo battlefield for groups or individuals with qualified guides is not to be missed.

Holts Tours Limited

Offers Waterloo and WW1 & WW2 tours departing from London/UK.

Image Tours Inc

Offering WWII Escorted, 13 night tour.

Past Endeavors

Tours in Belgium and Normandy

Somme Battlefield Tours

Conducted and self-drive tours to the Somme and Ypres Battlefields.

Tours International Limited

Offers Battle of the Bulge tours

Beyond Band of Brothers

Offers tour of Europe following the US Airborne 101 in WWII, including Bastogne.

QualiGuides:

Private individualized tours available throughout all of Belgium

More Information
On the web :

The Bulge and Normandy Battles

Read more about the history of the battles, as written by William Cavanagh, a military historian and battlefield guide. A fascinating insight into how the battles changed the lives of millions for always.

The American Battle Monuments Commission

For information regarding the location of specific graves and other details

Center of Research and Information on the Battle of the Bulge (C.R.I.B.A.)

Located in Belgium.

Veterans of The Battle of Bulge

The official website of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.

Canadian Great War

An overview of Canada's role in this terrible conflict.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
In the library :

A Tour of the Bulge Battlefield” by William C.C. Cavanagh

This great new book covers in detail the scene of one of the greatest battles of World War Two. Maps and photographs help to illustrate the battle itself and offer a detailed guide to touring the battlefield as it is today. The book is organized in a series of itineraries, giving vital information on pivotal areas of the overall battle Krinkelt Bastogne, St. Vith etc. It works equally well for the battlefield visitor as well as those who cannot make the trip but who wish to gain a deeper appreciation of the terrain over which this momentous battle was fought.