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Irishmen on the banks of the Meuse

On foot

11.00 km

3 h

Irishmen on the banks of the Meuse

South of Dinant, the Meuse valley preserves its diversity and its wild side. Victor Hugo has also been there. From the heights, he marvelled at this "great nature" at the top of the Freyr rocks (major heritage of Wallonia): "... suddenly the ground cracks horribly a few steps to the left. From the road, the eye plunges down a frightening vertical rock along which only vegetation can climb. It's a sudden and horrible precipice two or three hundred feet deep ..." ("The Rhine I letter V" - 1838 - p.88.)

To continue the path along the Meuse, there are several possibilities: 
- by bike or car on the left bank
- on foot (and well equipped) on the right bank.

The lock dam at Waulsort makes it easy to reach both banks of the Meuse by foot or by bicycle. Two points of view are better than one.

De sluis bij Waulsort maakt het gemakkelijk om beide oevers van de Maas te voet of met de fiets te bereiken. Twee gezichtspunten zijn beter dan één.

The villages of Waulsort and Hastière owe much to the Irish monks who came to evangelize these regions in the 10th century. First of all, they founded an important abbey in Waulsort. To extend into the region, they then built a priory in Hastière, a small monastery dependent on the neighbouring abbey. Over the centuries, the religious community of Hastière gained independence and soon became an abbey, just like its neighbour in Waulsort. Despite the quarrels and competition, the two communities remained on fairly good terms, it was worth their prosperity...

This route is more fully described in a discovery brochure Detours and other pilgrimages in Namur (FR).

  1. Waulsort and its abbey

    The village of Waulsort was built around the 10th century Benedictine monastery. This abbey has prospered over the centuries. Its alliance with that of Hastière has something to do with it. Two of us are always stronger (...)

  2. Romanesque abbey church Saint-Pierre – Hastière

    The Meuse divides the small town of Hastière in two. It was on the right bank, in Hastière beyond, that the Irish monks established their Benedictine abbey in the 11th century. The abbey church is the main witness to this. At first, it was only a chapel of the former priory of Notre-Dame, which was part of the nearby Waulsort Abbey (...)

  3. Hermeton: the road continues ...

    The border with France is getting closer. In the distance, other beautiful discoveries await Jacquets, history lovers and nature lovers. From the collegiate church of Hastière, it is necessary to cross the Meuse then follow the river southwards to Hermeton (...)

Church buildings on the route



5541 Hastière-par-Delà