Willem Vandenameele

Willem Vandenameele

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Valley of the Ourthe La Roche


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Source: Willem Vandenameele

Beautiful view over the valley of the Ourthe at Corumont (La Roche) in the direction of Hotton. From here we it is called the lower-Ourthe.
The upper-Ourthe is the part between Nisramont, where the western and eastern Ourthe come together, towards La Roche.
The lower-Ourthe still flows through Hotton and Durbuy to the loophole in Liège and in between the Amblève and the Vesdre.
This steep hill is full of stories, like the path of the dead. This path was used by the inhabitants of Harzé to take their dead to the cemetery of Beausaint so as not to pay the tax through the town of La Roche. It connected the Roman roadway passing through Beausaint to La Roche. In this hill opposite to the Ourthe, was carved in 714, the chair of King Pépin from where he did justice and came to rest after his long hunting games. The legend claimed that a girl who wanted to get married in the year had to do three rounds of marriage in the same day. One day, a young incredulous girl went around nine times. He was called the wife of the three husbands. This seat disappeared during the construction of the Rue Chalet. Only a children's song perpetuates the memory of it today, and an explanatory leaflet on the Corumont site has been published: it is available on simple request at info@coeurdelardenne.be. On top of hill Corumont you can find the cross 'Georges Nollomont'. The young man was killed in 1654 by the soldiers of Louis XIV. As he defended his body, he conquered the musket shot intended for the Prevot of Waha. The site was also used by the Germans, who placed an anti-aircraft battery to reach the American bombers during the battle of the bulge, and is now used by hikers and paragliders. A few metres from the viewpoint, there is an impressive take-off area (150 m altitude).
Nowadays, the site is used by many hikers for the beautiful views over the valley of La Roche, MTB and Parapente because of its good starting location. Corumont comes from "Côrir" which means hazel, and "mont" means mountain, so mountain of the hazelnut trees.
In La Roche, the "Chair of King Pépin " was a monument, modest in appearance, but it nevertheless attracted the attention of the first Luxembourg historians, who saw in La Roche proof that this small town had sometimes served as a residence for the founders of the Carolingian dynasty. That is what Joannes Bertels, abbot of Echternach, wrote in his Historia Luxembourgis, published in Cologne in 1605: "Antiquitus dum Franciae limites limits euc euc etiam extenderentur, solebant reges (dum laxandi animi causa Ardennam sylvam ad venandum peterent) in Castrum Rupense (tum etiam perforlebre et antiqum, utpote a Romanis mediis in sylvis excitatum) divergent, ubi et tottiam perforle etbrebrele etbrebre)p. 104)'. Here is the translation of this text: In the past, when France's borders came till here, the kings (that came to hunt to let their spirit rest in the Ardennes forests) made a detour to La Roche (which was very famous and old at that time because it was founded by the Romans in the middle of the forests) where, in their name, they had established a governor, commonly called "grand veneur", to lead the whole region. Even today, the Rochois still have a chair in the rock; they say that King Pépin used it when he wanted to rest a little bit of his fatigue or when he came to the audience of the people of the domain; they say that for that reason this seat is called the "chair of King Pépin". This chair was carved in the rock on the side of Mount Corumont, south of the city. In the last century, information on the chair of King Pepijn became more numerous and more accurate. The reason for this is that the inhabitants of La Roche were very proud of it and did not fail to recommend the visit to the first tourists discovering the Ardennes from about 1850. Eugene Gens, in Ruins and Landscapes in Belgium, advises us:" Sit down on this carved stone, which is called the chair of King Pepijn: "Nowhere else do you have a more beautiful view of the ruins that you see from above and on the street" (source text: www.la-roche.be).

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