Liaison - Attigny - Tourteron - Elan
A - The Southern Ardennes tourist train Voir sur la carte
Explore the Aisne valley and the southern Ardennes on board a 1950s rail car, ‘the Picasso’. From Amagne-Lucquy to Challerange, passing through Attigny and Vouziers, you will travel along the Aisne valley through its characteristic landscapes. Along the route, various stops are available, including Voncq station, from where Arthur Rimbaud left for Paris or Marseille, or the Roland Garros stele, at the spot where the famous aviator lost his life on 5 October 1918.
Regular journeys on Sundays from late June to early September – Main station in Attigny
Information: ATVA - Tel. 03 24 71 47 60 - http://cftsa.free.fr.
B - Tourteron Voir sur la carte
The Tourteron region and its orchards …. Apple trees, pear trees and others lend this part of the ‘Crêtes Préardennaises’ a unique charm, landscape, colours and shapes. Explore the village of Tourteron: its 16th-century covered market dating from the reign of Francis I and its 18th-century wash house bear witness to life in days gone by.
Distance: 2.5 km
Waymarking: green or pink, walk No 28
Time: 45 mins
Start: near the church in Tourteron
To go further afield…
Topo guide ‘Walks along the ridges’ available from tourist offices and bookshops. Circuit available for downloading on www.rando-cretes.fr.
C - The ‘Haut Fourneau’ (blast furnace) estate Voir sur la carte
Another park, but what a park! In Vendresse, nature, the play of water and fishing grounds blend harmoniously with industrial history.
At the centre of the estate stands the old blast furnace built by Jean-Nicolas Gendarme. An eight-metre cube covered with a shell three metres thick, made of Dom-le-Mesnil stone and Ardennes quartzite. Starting in the 19th century, this monster propelled the Ardennes to the peak of the French metallurgical sector. Today, it lies at the centre of a great sound and light show. Virtual cast iron has replaced the flowing metal of yesteryear. But you’d think you were there!
11, rue du Haut Fourneau
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 35 57 73
Web : http://www.domaine-de-vendresse.fr/index.php
D - The Poursaudes golf course Voir sur la carte
A green and wooded technical course, lying at the heart of the ‘Crètes Préardennaises’.
Open all year round, it is accessible to all levels. Its 18 holes, with its trompes-l’œil, raised greens, wide fairways and host of bunkers, make this an attractive golf course in terms of its technical aspect and the change of scenery it offers.
Base de Loisirs des Poursaudes
08430 Villers le tilleul
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 42 39 83
Web : http://www.golfdespoursaudes.com
E - The Cistercian abbey Voir sur la carte
Could the forest of the Ardennes also be ‘this wilderness’ usually associated with the East, where hermits and monks live in isolation in order to converse with God? In the 12th century twelve monks, led by Roger, discovered one of these wildernesses, offered by the Count of Rethel who wanted to atone for the massacre of the village of Boulzicourt. This land, named ‘east land’ by the Irish monk, was ideally situated away from the world, far from the life of trade … buried in solitude in the deepest forest. The site was near quarries and surrounded by springs. These days, Elan still retains its ability to captivate.
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 37 25 85
Web : www.paysdessources.com
Did you know?
The abbey manor is remarkable for its chestnut structure in the form of an upturned ship’s hull (Private site, no visit).
The abbey manse, which once welcomed travellers, is now home to the tourist office.
A short walk leads to Saint Roger’s chapel, built on the site of a miraculous spring that radiates an atmosphere of purity.
Distance: 3.5 km
Waymarking: rose (‘monk’ pictogram)
Time: 1 h
Start: from the Tourist Office
To go further afield…
Topo guide, Les Ardennes à pied (The Ardennes on foot), published by the French Hiking Federation. Walk No 45.
À Les Ayvelles
F - The battle-free fort Voir sur la carte
1878. The railway lines were new communication axes that had to be protected at any cost. The fort d’arrêt or stopping fort of Ayvelles was built to defend the lines of Reims, Montmédy, Hirson and Givet. At the end of the 19th century, progress gathered pace and modern weapons soon rendered this new fort obsolete: it became outdated before its time. The fort, surrounded by water, did not suffer an ordeal by fire, either in 1914 or in 1940. The visit to the galleries, the great powder magazine, the armour-plated blockhouse and the watchtowers tells the story of day-to-day life in this garrison of 800 men.
Guides tours are available by appointment. It is worth noting that an association of volunteers looks after this heritage site.
16 ZAC du GrandBan
08000 La francheville
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 33 48 97
Web : http://domaine.ayvelles.free.fr
A relaxation area (picnic tables and children’s games) has been set out at the entrance to the fort (free access). In addition, a walk of about three kilometres goes around the fort.
Did you know?
LeThe fort communicated by means of an optical link with the citadel in Montmédy and the fort at Hirson via the Rocroi post.