Redu (REDU, the book village )
As you stroll through the typical narrow streets of Redu and glance behind the walls and into the houses, you will discover hidden treasure: works both old and new. The village is an open book on culture. At the bottom of the book village flows one of the loveliest rivers in the country: the Lesse, a source of inspiration for countless photographers and painters alike.
A - The book village Voir sur la carte
It was born in 1984. This first book village in the Ardennes took its inspiration from the first village of its kind in the world - Hay-on-Wye, in Wales. The two became twinned and a huge book festival organised in Redu attracted a large crowd. This was a marvellous opportunity to lend a helping hand to this lovely hamlet, which had been suffering a serious rural exodus. It soon became essential visiting for book lovers. Bookshops opened and every year, during Easter weekend, the Book Festival attracts hundreds of visitors. The thirty bookshops have something to suit every reader, from the simply curious to passionate bibliophiles.
Praktical information :
Tel : 0032(0)61/65.66.99
Did you know? Voir sur la carte
Although Redu owes its existence to the monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hubert who tilled the land, the region set its sights firmly on the future when the ESA, the European Space Agency, set up its imposing satellite dishes here.
The book village Voir sur la carte
Redu is fragrant with the scent of old paper. Here people hunt around, seek and find the most incongruous of works. Redu is an open book on culture, a village open to the world. The Italian poet Pétrarque sang the praises of Redu, having passed through here in 1333 on his way from Liège across the vast Ardennes forest of the time. “In the midst of these desolate and wild woods, where even armed men go trembling, I walk on without fear. Nothing ever alarms me. Except the sun of love to which I pay homage…”.
Shale and wood gave shape to the Redu region. Its landscape is enhanced by low houses, mills and churches. Although the slate quarries have closed down, and the mill wheels no longer follow the rhythm of the current, at the heart of the villages, this heritage still remains, the soul and charm of the land. Verlaine was to succumb to the charm of this region.
B - ‘Le Bateau ivre’ bookshop Voir sur la carte
One of Arthur Rimbaud’s most beautiful poems, comprising 25 quatrains of alexandrines, gave its name to a marvellous bookshop in Redu: Le Bateau ivre (The Drunken Boat). In 1990, Léo Ferré sang this poem of the sea superbly. The village honours the poet, whose bust stands in the ‘Cour Rimbaud’.
In the age of digital tablets, the workshop in Redu goes against the tide, offering rebinding workshops.
C - The Lesse
This beautiful river exerts its charms and captivates hikers. Delightfully pure yet wildly tumultuous, it crosses one of Europe’s biggest forests, where the changing colours of the seasons delight the eye. Haute-Lesse is a paradise for poets and photographers alike.
Did you know?
The upper reaches of the river flow through the Ardennes massif, taking on the aspect of a mountain torrent. Shortly after Maissin, it enters the vast forest, where it remains as far as Chanly, near Resteigne. Its clear, highly oxygenated waters are teeming with fish, unlike the overly acidic waters of the rivers in the Hautes Fagnes.
D - Walking Voir sur la carte
The ‘Virée des Croix’
Redu is without doubt one of the loveliest spots along the Lesse. Leave the shady terraces and mouth-watering smells of the cafés in this pretty village and walk towards to the hamlet of Lesse: the downwards path is uneven and furrowed – you will need good walking shoes. You will hear the Lesse bubbling in the distance as it twists and leaps. Its clear, oxygenated waters force their way through and flow across huge plates of shale that they are gradually eroding.
And be sure not to leave the village without browsing round the little bookshops. The literary atmosphere in Redu is truly unique!
Did you know? Voir sur la carte
As it goes along the village, the walk passes near the ‘Roche aux Chevaux’ or horses’ rock. Legend has it that nags deemed to be too old were thrown off this rock…
Distance: 6 km
Waymarking: red rectangle
Time: 3 hrs
Start: from Redu church, panel indicating the start of walks.
E - Walking Voir sur la carte
The Lesse walk
Walking alongside and down the Haute-Lesse means daring to enter the ‘valley of no return’. Following this roving river, never to leave, is exhilarating. You’ll adore this walk.
Distance: 4 km
Waymarking: green rectangle
Time: 3 hrs
Start: at the ‘Pont des Barbouillons’, between Daverdisse and Séchery.
F - The Euro Space Center Voir sur la carte
Unique in Europe, a centre of discovery and leisure on the theme of space and the conquest of space.
Duration of the visit: 6hours. Free parking for cars and coaches. Resto Space (150 seats). Space Shop.
Training courses for youth (10-18 years) during school holidays: Space Camp, Rocket Camp and Astro Camp. Open for individuals : Daily during school holidays and from Easter holidays to November mid-term break (except on Mondays during school time and on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January.) ? Outside these dates seek information.
Opening dates and times for groups : all year round with booking on tel: +32 61/65.01.33 - 65.01.34.
Guided visits are available in English, Dutch, German and French on request for groups of minimum 20 people.
Audioguides also available.
? Prices: adults : 11- Sutdents(+ 12 years) and seniors: 10 - children(6 à 12 ans) : 8.
Group prices (min. 20 pers.) : adults : 9,50 - children and schools : 7,50. Guide: 35.
E411 (sortie 24)
Tel : 0032(0) 61 65 64 65
Web : www.eurospacecenter.be
G - Reception and tourist information site Voir sur la carte
La Maison du tourisme du Pays de Lesse (in Redu)
place de l'Esro, 60 - 6890 Redu
from 1st March to 31st October from 9am to 6pm
from 1st November to 28th February from 9.30am to 4.30pm