Page images

The tourist who intends to judge of the peculiar Fratro Station. Hence to Moriaime sta aspect given to this district by the establishments tion, and to Walcourt, Philippeville, Marienburg, of every description, in which industry is carried and Givet, see Route 16. on in so large a scalo, will visit this vast workshop, which employs in a varied and unceasing

ROUTE 18. production, an innumerable quantity of intelligent

Namur to Dinant and Givet, up the House, and indefatigable labourers. The country besides

in 11 hour. offers more than one site worthy of attention. Namur, as in Route 8. One view in particular, of the most charming

Though the Meuse above Namur is less visited, character, is that which one discovers at Marie- it is not less interestingly attractive there than mont, where the magnificent residence of M.

below it. Escarpments of limestone, magnificent Warocque contrasts in the life and splendour of

in their lotty outline and bold projecting heights, its modern luxury with the highly picturesque hem in the river as it flows gently along its pearly ruins of the residence of the Archdukes of Austria. bed, the entire landscape forming a tout ensemble

resembling the vales of Derbyshire. At Dinant Leaving the La Louvière station, the trunk line the road crosses the river by a stone bridge, and at crosses the branches of the Charleroi canal, on a Yvoir, 4 miles below, we see the intermittent fixed and a swing bridge. Numerous industrial springs, rising and sinking regularly, every seven establishments continue to appear on both sides of minutes. Passing several picturesque villas and the railway, which passes through a well culti- chateaux wo perceive, about 8 miles below Dinant, vated country, and some orchards, whose aspect the ruins of the Castle of Poilvache, taken and desrelieves the monotony of the landscape. Finally, troyed, in 1429, by Bishop Jean de Heynsberg. on the high road from Nivelles to Mons, the rail,

To the left, on the summit of a rock, half a mile way enters the station at Manage, which it shares

or so below Dinant, is seen the ruined castle of in common with the government railway that Bouvignes or Crèveccur. A thrilling tale of female joins it.

heroism is connected with the history of this Manage Station, a few years ago, was close castle, and tradition does not fail to perpetuate to an insignificant hamlet, forming a part of the

and hand it down to each succeeding generation. village of Leneffe. The place is now daily rising in

The French, under the Duke de Nevers, besieged importance since the building of the Government this castle in 1554, and three beautiful women, and Namur and Liége railway stations there. Rail with their husbands, took refuge in the tower of to Brain-le-Comte, Charleroi, and Nivelles, towards crèvecæur, designing to aid the garrison by their Brussels and Louvain.

succour and presence. The besieged were all

slain save the three femalos, who, rather than ROUTE 15.

submit to the brutality of their conquerors, threw Charleroi to Morialmé and Givet.

themselves from the top of the battlements, and

were dashed into atoms on the rocks beneath. Between Charleroi and Marchiennes-au-Pont,

Dinant Station.--Hotels: this railway turns off from the Brussels and Namur

Tête D'Or.-An excellent house, and very line, and passes through a district rich in minerals, reasonable; recommended; good trout fishing. and enjoying an extensive trade in zinc and iron,

Des Postes, a very good and comfortable house. coke and coal. It connects the valleys of the Sam.

Population 7,300. It is situated in a romantic bre and Meuse a few miles above Givet, and like position at the base of limestone cliffs, with the wise at Charleroi and Mézières. The distance is

citadel and church crowning their summits. 25 English miles. Passing a few stations, of no

The Bouvignese and people of Dinant were importance we arrive at

rivals in the manufacture of copper, and from this Berzéo Station, where a branch railway loads arose a hostile animus on both sides which led to by Thyle-Chatonu to Lanette station,

the most cruel and sanguinary encounters, The

[ocr errors]

two parties fought constantly against each other. situated at the base of luxuriantly-clothed hills, The castles of Crèveccur and Montorgueil were on the left bank of the river. It is a country seat built, the former by the Bouvignese, and the latter of the Duchess of Beaufort-Fontin, and has by the Dinantese, for the purpose of mutual within its grounds a beautiful grotto. Opposite annoyance. Dinant was besieged by Philip the here the scenery is very picturesque. Forms and Good, with an army of 30,000 men. On being outlines of the most singular caste and character summoned to surrender, they hung the mes. are shadowed forth by the broken masses of limesengers sent with the terms of capitulation, which stone, rising like so many giants out of the Meuse. 80 enraged the duke that he, on the town being As far as Flamignoul the scenery partakes of forced to surrender, gave it up to pillage for three quite a romantic aspect. Passing by Heer we are days, and then burned it to the ground, ordering attracted by a red marble quarry, and as we eight hundred of the inhabitants, bound two and approach the top of the hill our road is enlivened two, to be thrown into the Meuse. The town was by chaste and beautiful scenery, until we ascend rebailt by his son, Charles the Bold, but was again the top, from which we have a magnificent view of pillaged and sacked, in 1554, by the French, under Givet on French territory. The Stations of 'the Duke de Nevers, who, history tells us, was Hastière and Agimont are passed; then comes provoked to this cruel act by the message of the Givet Station.townspeople to his summons to surrender. They Inns :-Le Cygne; Le Mont d'Or. replied that if the King of France and the duke A small but prettily situated town, on the right fell into their hands they would roast their hearts bank of the Meuse, opposite Charlemont, with and livers for breakfast. The treaty of Ryswick which it is connected by a bridge. Here is the gave Dinant to the Prince Bishop. Attacked and French douane. Both places belong to France. taken during the first French revolution, it be- Givet has a population of about 4,000, and is a came the chief town of a French department, and fortress. The fortifications of Charlemont stand so remained until 1813, when it was retaken by on the left bank, on a rock of limestone. There the allies, and definitely joined to the royalty of is a statue to Mehul the composer.

Rail to the Netherlands, together with the ancient dis- Mézières, Marienburg, Morialmé, Charleroi, &c. trict of Liége. The church of Notre Dame is a massive struc

ROUTE 17. ture, of a cruciform shape, built in the Gothic Landen to St. Trond, Hasselt, Maestricht, style. It contains nothing particularly interesting, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Cologne. and is only remarkable for the style of its archi

Leaving Landen Station (Route 18), the railtecture and a tower 210 feet high.

road passes Attenhoven, a commune of 700 inbabiExcursions from Dinant to the Grotto of Hans- tants, and soon after leaves the province of Liége, sur-Lesse, Castle of Montaigle, Château de Wab.

and enters that of Limburg, and shortly arrives at zins, and to Châteaux, a group of hovels.

Velm Station, in a commune of Limburg, la Above Dinant the line leads us through a the district of Hasselt, crossed by a Roman cause. species of natural portal, abruptly terminated by way. a wall of rock shot out from the precipitous St. Trond Station, near the chief place of a cliers on the left, and on the right by the Roche canton of the district of Hasselt, in the province of à Bayard, an isolated mass of rock; close by here Limburg, situated upon the Cicindria. There are quarries of black marble are to be found; also eleven churches, the principal situated in a vast "immediately above is the pretty little town of square, in which is likewise the Town Hall, worthy Anseremme. The valley is very picturesque, and of notice. The manufacture of lace is the princi. well deserves to be explored. At this spot, the pal occupation of the inhabitants. Population, Lessc falls into the Meuse.

1,160. The road now begins to ascend, and at 3 Cortenbosch Station and Alken Station mllos above Dinant is the Château of Preyer, ! followed by

Hasselt Station. Capital of Belgian Limburg | England and those of the United States. This Population, 10,000. Here the Belgians were prison is capable of containing 2,000 prisoners, defeated, August, 1831. A rail to Utrecht and The old château, upon the site of which this Amsterdam.

prison was built in 1776, served as a prison, but Maestricht Station. Population, 82,000. only for state prisoners. Madame Deshouliers Hotels: Du Casque; Du Levrier (Greyhound).

was a prisoner of state here in 1657. The road,

describing a circle from here, arrives at The capital of Dutch Limburg, on the Meuse, or Maes, from which, and the old Roman ferry, or

Vilvorde Station, see Route 2. trajectum, it derives it name. It has a strong for- Quitting this station, the railroad traverses a tress, and a six-arch bridge to the suburb of Wyck. beautiful and well cultivated country, passing the The Town Hall, in the Market Place, is a hand- little village of Sempst, remarkable for its ancient some building. The church of St. Gervais is a church, we cross the Senne, and shortly after leave fine edifice with 6 towers and a splendid portal; the province of Brabant and enter that af Antwerp, the square in which this church stands was the

and perceive the gigantic tower and churches of spot where William de la Marck was beheaded, in Malines. The railway from Ghent, Courtray, 1485. The most remarkable things near Maes- Bruges, and Ostend, to Malines, is seen to the left, tricht, are the subterrane in Quarries, under the describing a grand curve to unite itself to the one hill called the Pietersberg; they wind in and out for we travel by. Crossing the Louvain canal by a 10 to 12 miles; and can only be safely visited with moveable bridge, we arrive at an experienced guide. Steamers daily to Liége, in

Malines Station, or Mechelen (Route 1). 4 hours, returning in 24 hours. To Rotterdam,

At a short distance from the station in Malines, stopping for the night at Venloo.

the railroad leaves the province of Antwerp, and For Meerssen, Faquemont, &c., to Aix-la- enters that of Brabant. The village of Muysar Chapelle, see Route 18.

and Haver, and the commune of Ryneman, the

steeple of which is seen on the left at a distance, ROUTE 18.

being passed. Brussels to Cologne, by Malines, Louvain,

Haecht Station is arrived at, near the chief Liége, and Aix-la-Chapelle.

place of a commune of Louvain, and contains

1,900 inhabitants. Brussels, see Route 6. The rail quits the Rue Neuve, traverses the Senne, and rejoins the old

Westpelaer Station, the next arrived at, is line of railway leading to the station d'Allée Verte.

celebrated for its magnificent park, to which To the left we see the Royal palace of Laeken, on

crowds of visitors resort during the season. "It a height.

presents," says a tourist, “a singular mixture of The Château of Laeken dates no further back mythological statues, thickets, Chinese bridges, than 1782. It was built after a design of the grottoes, and Greek temples.". On leaving WestArchduke Charles Albert, Governor of the Nether- pelaer, the charming village of Thildonk is, passed, lands, and is erected in a charming position. The

its pointed steeple is seen from the railroad. The park surrounding it contains an orangery, a theatre,

church is worthy of notice. Advancing towards pavilions, and beautiful trees. It was in this

Louvain the railroad runs along the side of the château that Napoleon signed the celebrated de- canal, the edge of which is prettily planted with claration of war against Russia. The palace is

three rows of poplars. Crossing the river Dyle, now the property of the crown, and favourite resi

then the road from Louvain to Aerschot and passdence of the Royal Family.

ing the communes of Kessel and Loo, and Wilsile, Before arriving at Vilvorde, our attention is

the station outside the gate of Diest is arrived at, arrested by the large building with the multitude LOUVAIN Station, or Leuven, or Löwen. of windows; it is the central house of correction, Population, 31,700. after the same plan as the model prisong in Hotels: De Suede, good; De la Cour de Mons." A large, irregularly-built town, of a circular an hospital for invalids. It was, however, re. form, situated on the Dyle, which passes through established, under the late government, in 181?, In it. We enter the town by a gilt iron railing, or a large building of great simplicity, erected at gate. The foundation of Lonvain has been attri. the close of the last century. There are 17 probuted to Cæsar; but nothing certain is known of fessors and about 500 students. The library the history of the place until the year 888, when contains about 40,000 volumes, and the university the Emperor Arnold, in order to protect the country also possesses a botanical garden and a tolerably from the predatory incursions of the Normans, good museum of zoology and mineralogy. Strangers built in the place of Louvain a castle, which has are struck with admiration on the first view of the been long improperly called Château César immense edifice of the Halles—its vast and superb (Cæsar's Castle). The Dukes of Brabant resided saloons, devoted to the study of civil law, physic, many years in the castle, and Henry, the first

and theology. Count of Louvain, was assassinated there in 1308. The principal productions of Louvain are It was rebuilt at the expense of the magistrates in woollen stuffs and dimities, with the various articles 1375, and was the winter residence of Edward III. proceeding from the salt-works, sugar refineries, of England, and his Queen, in 1485. At a later manufactories of potash and starch, bottle works, period it was selected as the place of abode of the window-glass manufactories, potteries, brandy and illustrious Charles V. during his youth. The ruins gin distilleries, and establishments for extracting of the castle are still remaining. Till the year oil from rape-seed and colza. There are also a 1792, when the revolutionary troops, under General number of cotton-printing establishments and Kleber, made themselves masters of the town, several printing offices. The white beer of Louvain Louvain could boast of never having been taken is in great repute, and exported to all parts of by an enemy, though it had been repeatedly Belgium; besides which, another kind of malt besieged during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and liquor, called peterman, is the common table beer eighteenth centuries.

of the higher classes. Some idea may be formed In the beginning of the fourteenth century of the trade in beer, when it is known that the Louvain was a large, populous, and rich city, in town comprises upwards of forty breweries, prowhich the manufacture of woollen stuffs was so ducing, annually, above 200,000 barrels of mals considerable, that in 1317 it reckoned 4,000 es- liquor. tablishments connected with the cloth trade alone,

The Hôtel de Ville is, perhaps, the most perfect and contained 150,000 inhabitants. During the specimen of its kind of Gothic architecture extant; reign of Duke Wenceslaus however, and about

and the innumerable carved figures which enrich the year 1370, a tumult arose in the town, in the front exhibit indubitable traces, not withstandconsequence of the arbitrary punishment of a ing the ravages of time, of exquisite workmanship. citizen, after he had been judicially acquitted of

It was built in 1439. In the council chamber are some a petty theft of which he was accused. A number paintings by Verhaegen, and the Continence of of cloth manufacturers took part in this tumult, Scipio, by Luca Giordans; and in the Grand Saloon and on its suppression were banished from the is a collection comprising the Resurrection, by town. These ingenious workmen rotired to Eng. Rubens; Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, by Crayer; and land, drawing after them many of their relations a portrait of Lipsius, by Van Dyck. and friends; and so rapidly did the town decrease The Cathedral Church of St. Peter, a beautiful in population from that period, that in less than edifice, was built under Count Lambert Balderic, forty years Louvain presented all the appearances about the year 1010, and was formerly surmounted of a vast deserted city. To remedy the evil, John, by a spire of the extraordinary height of 533 feet, the fifth Duke of Brabant, founded in 1946, a considered by the people of Louvain as the eighth University, wbich afterwards became one of the wonder of the world; but, unfortunately, this bold most celebrated in Europe. It was suppressed by and justly admired specimen of steeple building the French in 1793, and the building converted into was levelled with the ground, hy a vilonu iv.

of wind, in 1604. The interior of this church was thrown into the Dyle, and, contrary to natural contains much to aftract the attention, particularly laws, her body floated upwards against the stream, a fine allegorical subject, representing Faith, surrounded by a halo of glory, and emitting sweet Hope, and Charity, by Crayer, which is in the and harmonious sounds. Henry, the first Duke Chapel of the Trinity, and the Holy Family, by of Louvain, saw this wonderful miracle; the report Quentin Matsys, in that of St. Anne. The iron soon spread, her body was embalmed, and a shrine screen, curiously wrought in one piece, is by erected for her honour; and there, to the admiraGoemans, and the iron lustre by Quentin Matsys. tion of the faithful, may the wooden pitcher in The Crucifixion, by Van Dyck, which adorns the which she fetched wine to this day be seen. altar of St. Julien, is remarkable for the artist's The churches of St. Michael, St. Anthony, and St. introduction of a number of winged boys, who are Gertrude are also worthy of notice, as well as the stationed with a cup at the foot of the cross, to new prison erected at the Dieste Gate. St. Gercatch the blood of our Saviour. The Last Supper, trude has some good wood carvings and paintings and the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, by Thierry of Crayer, Verhaegen, &c. Stuerbout, though long falsely attributed to Hemling, should also be noticed; as well as the marble

The Tower of Jansenius, in which he is supposed altars of the Chapels of the Sacrament and the

to have written his great work on grace and freeVirgin Mary, the latter of which was designed by

will, and the house of Lepsius, the artist, are also Rubens. The oak pulpit was brought to this

shewn to strangers. Louvain contains a tribunal church in 1807 from the suppressed Abbey of

de première instance, and another of commerce; Ninoven, near Brussels. It is the work of Bergere,

it has also a subscription library and a theatre. In 1742, and may be considered as one of the finest

The walks formed in the ancient moat around the specimens of carved wood in the world. The

town, especially that called St. George's Garden, Communion Table of Alexander van Papenhoven

are extremely pleasant; and the quarter named (date 1709) is an exquisite production, with its

the Rivage is handsomely built. The town, éngroups of angels and cherubims playing among

circled by walls surmounted by turrets, has a flowers, leaves, and fruit. The tabernacle is an

circumference of about 6 miles, in which space, exquisitely wrought piece of workmanship, richly

however, are comprised many gardens and or. : sculptured. The Conversion of St. Paul occupies

chards; it communicates with Mechlin by a canal,

formed in 1750, along the banks of which is a post the lower part, and round it are a number of figures of animals, intertwined with imitations of

road, of 2 posts, or 15 miles in length, by which trunks and leaves of trees. The organs, which

we join the high road leading from Brussels to

Antwerp and to Amsterdam, at Mechlin. The are among the best in Belgium, were long falsely attributed to John Goltfows, but were really made principal promenades are the avenues of trees, 2 by John Crimon, of Mons, in 1556. In the choi:

miles in length, ranging with the canal outside is the mausoleum of Henry IV., Duke of Brabant,

the Aerschot Gate, the new circle of boulevards, who died in 1235; and behind it, in a small chapel

now in progress, by which it is intended to enclose that of Margaret of Louvain, assassinated in 1025

the old limits of the town, and the walks to the patroness of servant girls; in connection with

château of Count d'Aremberg, the Benedictine · which there is a marvellous story told, somewhat

Abbey, and Sudwater, the seat of M. Plascheret. as follows:-Being servant at an inn, the night

A fair of ten days, for all kinds of merchandise,

at Louvain, is held annually, beginning the first previous to the day on which she and her master and mistress had resolved to enter a convent, she

Sunday in September. It seems to be a healthy place, went out to fetch some wine for some pilgrims

as it appears, on the authority of Dr. Grandeville who had arrived. During her absence these pil

(vol. 1, p. 72), that the mortality as to the number grims murdered her master and mistress, and on

of births is in the proportion of six to eight. her return they assailed her with the same inter- Louvain to Liége.--After leaving Louvain the tion. Overpowered, after a long struggle, she old Abbey of Parcq is passed on the right. The

« PreviousContinue »