Monthermé (The Roc-La-Tour or devil’s castle )
Monthermé doubtless forms the most beautiful stretch of the Meuse through the Ardennes. This authentic region, hesitating between two countries, is the location of the Geste of the Four Sons of Aymon
A - Monthermé : Roc la Tour Voir sur la carte
The Celtic soul endures in the Ardenne… They say that these quartzite rocks may be the Cyclopean remains of a huge, ruined castle. Not true at all! Although this chaotic rock formation is perfectly natural, from prehistoric times it served as a bivouac. These days it is above all one of the loveliest spots in the region.
Walking here, you can smell sulphur.
A diabolical pact is said to have been made between a lord greedy for power and the devil himself. The former was to obtain a huge castle, the latter the soul of the lord, if the lord managed to complete the castle before the cock crowed.
Just as he was setting the last stone of the building, the cock crowed, signalling the dawn. Too late! Out of fury, Satan destroyed the castle he had just built, sending huge blocks of stone hurtling down the mountainside to the bed of the Semoy river.
Walk Voir sur la carte
A walk will take you to the Roc-La-Tour and the Roche aux Corpias, two kilometres downstream: the view is superb. Return along the same path. An information panel in the car park sets out a number of routes.
Distance: 4 km
Waymarking: yellow waymarking
Start: Car park at the summit of the Lyre forest road that you take upon leaving Monthermé (towards Roc-La-Tour)
B - The Roche à Sept-Heures Voir sur la carte
Between Charlevilles-Mézières and Givet, the Meuse crosses the Ardennes massif in cheerful twists and turns. But in Monthermé, more than anywhere else, the loop to be seen from the Roche à Sept-Heures is geometrically perfect.
Walking Voir sur la carte
A ridge walk runs along this very narrow path, passing panoramic views. Dropping down the hillside, the return path follows the banks of the river.
Distance: 6 km
Waymarking: white/red waymarking
Start: Tourist office car park
C - MONTHERME. Laval-Dieu Abbey Voir sur la carte
The history of the Ardenne and its forest is linked to that of the medieval monks who cleared it with axes. In the 12th century, Laval-Dieu was an island of thought and influence at the heart of this wild region. These days, the elegant brick façade with its stone frames conceals a medieval square tower of schist.
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 54 46 73
Web : http://www.meuse-semoy-tourisme.com