Architectural and natural heritage
LE TROU FRÉ DJAME
or Brother William’s hole, named after the monk who once lived in it as a hermit, is perched 20 m above the river Ourthe, with an opening that plunges directly into empty space. This remnant of a tunnel, which runs from one side of the rock to the other, was formed several million years ago.
VALLÉE DE L'ISBELLE
After flowing over hermetic sandstone, when the river Isabelle arrives on the limestone just downstream of the hamlet of Mélines, it disappears to become an underground watercourse. This is facilitated by the presence of two small, parallel faults, which are perpendicular to the Ourthe Valley.
Arboretum du Château de Deulin
Rue du château 10
B-6990 Deulin (Hotton)
Tel.: +32 (0)84/46 66 16. The current layout of the park is the result of a garden architect’s project started at the beginning of the 20th century. Following the path, you’ll be able to identify more than forty woody species belonging, in part, to the flora of our land. The others are foreign, ornamental species introduced to decorate the park.
ARBORETUM IN THE MUNICIPAL PARK
Scarcely 100 metres away from the centre of Hotton, the municipal park is a wooded area that harbours many different tree species. It has a dedicated picnic area and a climb up the tower’s spiral staircase will give you a panoramic view of the villages of Hotton and Melreux.
Discovered in 1958 and certainly the most beautiful caves in the country. Several rimstones, one of which is called “L’Abreuvoir” (drinking trough): the biggest known rimstone in Belgium. These rimstones are pools constructed naturally by groundwater. Magnificent galleries. To crown the visit, the “pièce montée” that is the balcony dominates the chasm and the sound of the river flowing 30 m below can be heard.
LA PORTE AÏVE
The vast entry gallery, extended by a single, narrow tunnel approximately thirty metres long is of great archaeological interest. The cave was used by humans as from the Neolithic era. A collective burial site, a necropolis typical of the Neolithic era, was discovered where the entry terrace is now. The presence of a much older habitat (Palaeolithic site) is probable in this cave. The Germans set up a command post in it at the end of 1944. In geological terms, this cave is significant because it opens perpendicularly to the rock formations, which are vertical.
ÎLE DE L'ONEUX
Formed by the river Ourthe and the mill’s forebay, Oneux island is a 6-hectare meadow surrounded by tall poplars, located right in the middle of Hotton. This space is ideal for organising events, walking, resting, swimming, fishing and relaxing. It also has a playground and a very beautiful bandstand.
JARDIN DE LA CALESTIENNE
This is the name given to a continuous strip of limestone terrain running from the Liège region in Chimay via Remouchamps, Hotton, Rochefort, Han and Givet. In Hotton, it clearly marks the limit between Ardenne and Famenne. Apart from having the biggest caves in the country, the Calestienne harbours a rich, natural and varied flora that is specific to limestone terrains.
At its source, the river Ourthe has two branches: one, called the West Ourthe (53 km), has its source near Libramont, in Sainte-Marie (altitude 501 m) and the other, called the East Ourthe (46 km), has its source near the village of Ourthe, near Gouvy (507 m). These two branches meet near Engreux (Nisramont) to form the Upper Ourthe.
Tel.: +32 (0)84/41.35.71
WATER AND STONE DISCOVERY TOUR
This walk, which is approximately 70 kilometres long and marked by horizontal red, rectangular signs, takes you through the entire entity of Hotton. You’ll be able to discover the villages, heritage, natural riches, craftsmen, artisans and local producers at your own speed. A topographic map and descriptive guidebook can be purchased at the Syndicat d’Initiative (Tourist Office).
16 signposted walks and 4 mountain bike circuits
allow you to discover our region without any risk of getting lost. In each village, you’ll find a board indicating the start point with all useful information. A 1/25,000 scale map and guidebook are on sale at the Tourist Office.
LES ROCHERS DE RENISSART
They are on the left bank, upstream of the Hotton bridge. At the beginning of the 1990’s, the 17 climbing routes on the “Fré Djame” massif were equipped with spits and are still managed by the Potholing Club.
This site, which is listed by the Commission of Monuments and Sites, is a rocky outcrop dominating the Ourthe valley. This triangular plateau, naturally protected on two sides, has very probably been occupied since Neolithic times. It may have been transformed to create a closed promontory at the end of the Iron Age by the construction of two earth embankments, each preceded by a moat and probably raised by stockades.
CHÂTEAU DE DEULIN
6990 Deulin (Hotton)
Tel.: +32 (0)84/46.66.16
Built in 1760 by the Harlez family. Constructed in a U-form using white bricks and blue stone. Towers topped by a bell-turret with a weather vane bearing the arms of J.G. de Harlez. The interior bears witness to the rich past of this chateau, which can be hired for seminars, receptions, exhibitions, weddings and shows.
At the entrance to the village, going in the direction of Marche, a large farm with a quadrangular steading, the Saint Remacle chapel and two farms built in line dating from the 18th and 19th centuries form a uniform series of limestone buildings. The Saint- Remacle chapel is a classic edifice dating from the mid-18th century. Inside, the unpolished marble font and baptismal fonts and the alter and altarpiece date from the 17th century. Some of the tombstones date from the 18th century.
At the extremity of Oneux island, the royal brass band’s bandstand,
“les joyeux travailleurs” (happy workers) add a musical note to the landscape. It was built in three stages according to the company’s funds at the time. The foundations in 1924, the superstructure in 1928 and the walkway in 1938. It was fully restored in 1983.
LE MOULIN FABER
An original and educational tourist attraction. A flour mill built in 1729. Listed building built using rough limestone blocks. Outside: 2 mill-wheels. Inside: 4 levels (machinery, millstones, sifting area and granary). It is still a working mill and is open to visitors. For visits, contact the Syndicat d’Initiative (Tourist Office): +32 (0)84/46 61 22.
rue Haute, Hotton.
This house is named after its last owner, Doctor Godenir. The building, built using rough limestone blocks in 1791, is listed by the Commission of Monuments and Sites. It hosts the “Royal Syndicat d’Initiative” (tourist office) and the “Centre d'Interprétation de la Rivière” (river interpretation center).
LA PLACE DU CHAT
A superb bronze statue using solar energy alone to light it up and drive the fountain that sprays water onto it.
The “Chat” (cat) statue, created by the resident sculptor, François DEBOUCQ.
The “Chat” (cat) sits under an umbrella, which serves as a fountain during the day and a lighting system at night, all powered by photovoltaic panels.
cOMMONWEALTH MILITARY CEMETERY
Here lie British and Commonwealth soldiers who fell during the Second World War.
The cemetery is on high ground overlooking the villages of Hotton and Melreux.
On the very edge of the Ardennes Offensive, Hotton experienced many tragic events in December 1944 and January 1945.
A majority of the graves date from that time although some soldiers “fell” in May 1940.
666 nationals of Commonwealth countries were laid to rest in this cemetery.