Since 1896, we have been organising cultural visits, rallies and events all over Belgium. Do not hesitate to contact us to suggest ideas for your visit and event, our guides will be happy to make you "live Art as an Art of Living" in the city of your choice.
We can adapt all our cultural products to the reality of the city and its historical and cultural themes, whether it be a classic walking tour, a gourmet walk with tasting of typical products of the region, our Dine Around, our Rallyes and interactive riddles... Creativity has no limits!
Here are a few examples of cities where our guides can accompany you:
We offer you a day composed of softness and relaxation, space and nature, a day in the land of Amblève, land of history and legends. Mists and frosts, deep forests with trickling waters, caves and songbirds, nothing was missing to bring to the popular imagination the astonishing characters dear to Marcelin La Garde, a child of the country. Apollinaire was also particularly sensitive to the charms of the region during his stay in Stavelot. The forest did not leave him indifferent and we will take one of his footpaths to which he left his name. A commented walk in the forest will offer us a moment of escape from the hustle and bustle of the towns. Beforehand, in a green hole, we will discover the unusual beer museum and its astonishing beer flambé followed by a barbecue in the chalet, an opportunity to exchange pleasantly our impressions in a warm setting. But of course, we will start our day with the discovery of Stavelot, where we will stroll around the small square, remembering that the principality of Stavelot-Malmedy, sovereign until 1796, was ruled by more than seventy prince abbots who ensured the reputation of the abbey. It is therefore quite natural that today concerts and exhibitions are held here in the same spiritual continuity. A beautiful harmony of centuries which combines nature and spirit in the heart of a region for our greatest pleasure.
Looking at the history of a place means looking at the products that have brought it to life. By plunging into Hainaut's past, one realises how economy, gourmet and artistic creations are intrinsically linked. Even today, the inhabitants of the region are still singing the praises of a desire to perpetuate these particular characteristics of Hainaut.
We will start our day with a walk during which you will discover the specific characteristics of the architecture of this region. After lunch, we will continue with a visit to a cheese dairy or a chocolate factory. Of course, in both cases, you will be able to taste the specialities. Afterwards, we will discover a 19th century steam brewery: next to vats, reel, decanting tank, wort pump,..., the steam engine, the heart of the workshop, gives the pulse, the rhythm and the movement. All this to provide a beer which, either by its rarity or its very specific taste, will not leave us indifferent.
Whether you are a beer lover or not, you will know the criteria for judging a beer, which are not far removed from the requirements of the art of tasting a good wine.
We will take advantage of our spring break to go to Chimay, which seems to emerge from the green ocean with the multiple moving emeralds of its forests and countryside. Strolling through Chimay, following its narrow alleyways with narrow houses, its old staircases leading to the wash-house and the ramparts, is also to reconnect with the serene charm of a princely city more than 500 years old. At the Château des Princes, we will be welcomed by the Princess of Caraman Chimay. For you, she will bring to life the great and small history of the inhabitants of her castle. She will show you Napoleon's layette, Tallien's red cape and, in the chapel, the way the Saint Shroud stayed in Chimay. But the most beautiful jewel of the visit is the theatre, built on the initiative of Thérésia Cabarrus, wife of François-Joseph de Caraman, better known as Madame Tallien, the name of her former husband. In rococo style, it welcomed the Malibran (the famous singer), Borodine (Russian composer), Auber (author of La Muette de Portici) and other celebrities.
The province of Luxembourg is a land of forests and rivers. And its inhabitants are proud of their beautiful country with gentle rolling hills, villages with low houses and deep forests. We will first stop in St-Hubert to admire its basilica in Brabant Gothic style. The interior is remarkable for its size and surprises both by its elegance, the light that bathes the whole and the chromatic variety of the material used: ochre, pink, blue and green. We will also discover the Fourneau St-Michel, a haven of peace in the green valley of the Masblette between the wooded hills. A Benedictine foundation once occupied this charming valley. In the 18th century, the last abbot of St-Hubert, Nicolas Spirlet, created a metallurgical complex. Today several museums (the Museum of Rural Life in Wallonia, the Museum of Iron and Ancient Metallurgy, the P.J. Redouté Museum) occupy this enchanting site. Culture will be followed by gastronomy by discovering the installations of a mushroom farm in Sainte-Ode.
In short, the day that we offer to experience combines culture, relaxation and gastronomy.... We bet you won't be disappointed and that you will leave in the evening with a happy mind and a happy body.
Ambiorix invites you into its stronghold... a little bit of history of this town where past and future meet...
Seat of occupation of the Eburons, led by Ambiorix, Atuatuca Tungrurum in Roman times, with its fortified enclosure in the 2nd century, the most important city of its region in the 4th century, declining in the 5th century, plundered and burnt down in the following centuries, it lost its prestige and was reborn as a good city of the Principality of Liège in the 13th century, which gave rise to new developments, including its third enclosure . The eventful history continues...
Decline again, new looting, fires and today "Tongeren" is a quiet little town that escaped the modernist rage of the 20th century. Far from the time when the Romans wanted to turn it into a metropolis, a city twice a thousand years old, it still has a historical and architectural heritage of incomparable richness and value.
Cross the walls and discover...
...a bit of Flanders, Brabant, Liège with a touch of Burgundy:
The almost ephemeral capital of the former Netherlands, the archbishop's capital, Mechelen is a place where you can spend a peaceful day among its alleys from another era, its princely palaces and its sumptuous churches. One of the greatest musical virtuosos could have been born within its walls within a few days. She will be content with chimes...
Between its canals, the Dyle, the lofts and the beguinages, Mechelen tells us about its mysteries and its beauties.
City of the 5 bell towers, Merovingian capital, Tournai is also the birthplace of Martine, Bob Morane, of the Scaldian style and Rogier de la Pasture to name but a few. An astonishing capital, the city does not reveal its beautiful finery to the first people who come here. It is that it likes to be approached gently and slowly before unveiling its New and Decorative Arts, its Romanesque walls, its houses from another age. She has known wars. The one of 40-45 made her lose 80% of a major historical and artistic heritage and yet ... she still seduces! But what could be better than a game of iron, an impromptu visit of its medieval alleys if the weather allows it. If by bad luck the rain and the cold invite themselves, religious and secular museums will be able to welcome us.
Thudinia, land of opulent crops and majestic fortified farms, land of the Sambre and of small rivers whose names sing like waterfalls... This region, with its prosperous industrial past, touches the visitor with its special way of life: small towns with winding streets, imposing ruins of abbeys nestled in a green landscape, mills still keeping their paddle wheels, chapels whose funeral slabs bear witness to a long past, macaroons from Beaumont, cherries from Biercée, escavèches from Virelles, beers and cheeses from the Trappists... So much charm and pleasure too often forgotten by the visitor in a hurry.
We will start our itinerary by passing by high places and historical vestiges (the portico of the Benedictine abbey of Lobbes, the Cistercian abbey of Aulnes,...) and picturesque villages, we will have an extensive view of the Sambre valley. After lunch, we will go to the magnificent Abbey of Good Hope in Vellereille-les-Brayeux, founded in 1126 by Odon, a disciple of St-Norbert: one of the fathers will welcome you and we will talk about the Order of the Premonstratensians, one of the most important in Belgium and the organisation of the community.
So from villages to abbeys, from meadows to green hills, we will have soaked up the sweetness of Thudinie...
The presence of man in the Famenne region goes back to the dawn of time, as dolmens, menhirs and prehistoric caves still bear witness today. If you want to really discover all the charms and beauty of this small country, we suggest you leave the main roads to follow us on picturesque paths to discover an old mill, fortified farms and attractive villages. This region touches the visitor with its special "douceur de vivre": small towns with winding streets, mills still keeping their paddle wheels, dolmens adorning the landscape,... So much charm and pleasure too often forgotten by the visitor in a hurry.
After crossing Marche, the main town of the region, we will visit a few towns (Hotton, Barvaux), where we can get a glimpse of the traditional half-timbered or limestone block architecture. We will particularly notice fortified farms, built in the 17th century (Bourdon, Ny,...). We will have lunch in Durbuy, which boasts a rich architectural ensemble of perfect homogeneity. Among the ancestral stone houses planted along winding alleys, the 16th century Halle aux Blés, with its half-timbered façade, is without doubt the jewel in the crown. Following a green route, where your guide-lecturer may still have a surprise in store for us, we will arrive at the Château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne. The medieval building, rebuilt in the 17th century, shows traces of the different periods of its occupation. Your guide will highlight the moat, the castle farm, the baroque transformations, the interior design, the objects of traditional life,...
Thus, from farm to castle, from meadows to green hills, we will be immersed in the sweetness of the Famenne...
ARLON AND THE MAITRANK FESTIVAL
Clinging to the slopes of a hill, Arlon is one of the oldest cities in Belgium. It was discovered to have Celtic origins, and the Romans and the Franks passed through it. In the Middle Ages, it had an imposing castel and was the residence of counts and marquis. One of the town's current pride and joy, in addition to the Roman tower and Gallo-Roman remains, is the Luxembourg museum. Here we will discover its lapidary riches, more than 400 sculptures from the Roman period, which make it one of the most important Gallo-Roman museums in Europe.
A diversion in the heart of the city, by the district of St Donat, commonly called "La Knipchen", is particularly pleasant under the May sun. However, even under the greyest of skies, this old quarter is full of charm and is the subject of a major urban renewal project. We will then have to climb the Calvary Road of Mount St. Donat to discover its church built at the precise spot of the "moonstone", an altar of Celtic origin. The church is adorned with a fresco of the place's name, recently discovered by a cleaning restoration. From this hillock, the "Poets' Terrace" allows us to discover the old slate roofs of "La Knipchen" and a superb view of four countries: Belgium, Grand Duchy, France and Germany. We then realise to what extent Arlon was an important strategic crossroads through the ages.
Arlon is also a city rich in customs and traditions. We will have the opportunity to evoke the famous international Maitrank festivals which attract a considerable number of visitors every year. This one takes place on the last weekend of May because this somewhat bewitching drink is made from fragrant sperules, the famous Fleur de Mai. Perhaps we will discover it among the ruins of the Clairefontaine Abbey, today as yesterday in the time of Ermessinde, still wild...
The city of Leuven is proud of its past and its heritage. And rightly so! There is so much to see in and around Leuven that a single visit is not enough. The region was already famous in the 9th century but, despite its favourable location along the Dyle, it was not until the 11th century that it became a flourishing commercial centre. At the same time, the main city of the Duchy of Brabant built its first city wall and various churches and monasteries were erected. The cloth trade, which had been very prosperous until then, lost its importance in the 14th century. In the 15th century, however, the city of Leuven experienced a new boom: the foundation of the University, the development of various industries, the development of the Grand'Place and the construction of the Town Hall bear witness to this. Leuven owes its wonderful Town Hall, the Church of St. Peter and the Last Supper by Dirk Bouts to the Gothic period. The Cloth Hall, the House of van 't Sestich and many churches, such as St. Gertrude's Church with its beautiful stalls, date from the same period. Romanesque architecture is also present, such as the Romanesque Gate, St. Lambert's Church and the remains of the first surrounding wall. The 13th-century Beguinage, adjacent to an interesting 17th-century housing complex, is unique. The baroque style is also very much in evidence in Leuven: the Church of St. Michael, the interior of the Church of St. John the Baptist and the incomparable stucco work in the Park Abbey. Just like the Castle of Aremberg, this abbey is a true mosaic of architectural styles. Numerous university colleges from the 16th and 17th centuries, often restored and transformed in the 18th century, still form an integral part of the town's setting today. The impressive Van Dale College is in the purest Renaissance style, while the Falcon, Pope and Arras Colleges are in classical style. Another good example is Vlierbeek Abbey. In the 18th century, the construction of the Leuven-Mechelen causeways and canal and the expansion of the Brewery stimulated the development of trade and population. Leuven thus experienced years of prosperity until then. Unfortunately, the reign of Joseph II and the invasion of the French soon put an end to this prosperous period. The construction of the railway station and the development of the Bondgenotenlaan in the 19th century are evidence of Leuven's rise to the status of a bourgeois city. The neo styles, including the Helleputte style (notable at the Justus Lipsius College) and the reconstruction of Leuven with the university library, left their mark on the city.
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