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12, at the hotels at Spa, are charged for a 2 horse carriage for 5 or 6 persons. Post horses may be had at Pepinster.
Excursion to Spa, 2 posts.
Travellers pressed for time, and wishing to make the best use of it, will hardly be rewarded in turning out of their road to visit Spa: as a wateringplace it is much fallen off, and its scenery is inferior to that of the Rhine. At the village of Pepinsterre, a road on the right turns off to Spa, along the valley of the Hoëgne, equally pleasing with that of the Vesdre, clothed with meadows of the brightest verdure, and enlivened by many country-houses, belonging principally to the manufacturers of Verviers. Long lines of cloth hung out in the sun proclaim the staple
manufacture of the district. A little beyond the village of Theux, famous for its quarries of black marble, are
"The Towers of Franchimont.
Amassed through rapine and through wrong
A huntsman sits, its constant guard;
"To chase the fiend, and win the prize
During the siege of Liége by Charles the Bold and Louis XI., 600 inhabit
ants of Franchimont banded themselves together with the design of seizing the persons of these two monarchs as they lay encamped before the walls. They failed in their bold attempt, as has been already related, and paid for their heroism with their lives. An inscription on the face of the rock, by the road side, still keeps alive the recollection of the deed. (See p. 184.)
At the end of an avenue of lime-trees a mile long, lies
23 SPA.. Inns: H. de York. Table d'hôte 3 frs. H. de Flandre, has a good table d'hôte, and is a fair house in other respects.-H. de Bellevue at one end of the town in an airy situation, civil and moderate in charges. Ld. St.-H. d'Orange. H. des Pays-Bas, cheap. Table d'hôte 2 fr. a head, very good. Charges. 2 to 5 fr. a day for a room; table d'hôte, 3 fr.; breakfast, 25 sous: dinner in private, 3 f.; a bottle of Bordeaux wine, 3 fr. Servants are fed at 3 fr. a day. When the party exceeds 2 or 3, or where persons take up their residence for some time, an abatement is made in the charges. A person about to make some stay may bargain beforehand to be boarded and lodged for 5 fr. a day. Persons may board and lodge at the Bellevue for 3 and 4 frs. a-day during the winter.
A good furnished house with stabling may be had for about 60l. a-year.
The small mutton of the Ardennes enjoys so high a reputation, even in other countries, that instances have occurred of the larger portion of a sheep being conveyed in the Belgian minister's dispatch bag to some of the aristocratic dinner tables of London.
Spa is almost made up of inns and lodging-houses, many of which are shut up in winter. The number of permanent inhab. is about 4000.
It is very prettily situated in a sort of semi-basin, in the midst of mountains forming part of the Ardennes Chain; the heights overhanging it are covered with shrubberies, and intersected by healthful and airy walks, with pleasing prospects at intervals. A large part of the town is built close under the rocks,
out his permission. The handsome edifice called Vauxhall, built as a second Redoute, and much frequented in former times, though now abandoned, has been used as a church, where the English service is performed on Sundays; but an English chapel is about to be erected behind the Pouhon.
which, so far from holding out any en- | gambling tables could be set up withcouragement to this near approximation, have on several occasions given the inhabitants a warning to keep at a respectful distance, by overwhelming their dwellings with vast masses of stone detached from above. Several houses near the Promenade de Sept Heures remain either wholly or partly buried amidst heaps of débris, occasioned by a slide of part of the mountain. The hint has not altogether been attended to; the roofs shattered by the falling of rocks have been repaired, and the houses again tenanted, though exposed constantly to a recurrence of the danger. A new Bath House is built near the Promenade de Sept Heures.
The principal spring, called the Pouhon (pouher, in Walloon, is the same as puiser, to draw), is situated in the centre of the town, under a colonnade built by the King of the Netherlands in honour of Peter the Great. The building contains a pump-room, in which a band plays from 7 to 9 a. M. and the newspapers of different countries are to be seen. From this spring comes the Spa water, which is sent to the ends of the earth for the benefit of invalids. It is an admirable tonic, good for nervous and bilious disorders. It owes its medical properties to the iron, with which it is impregnated in greater quantity than any other spring known, mingled with a considerable proportion of salts; while the superabundance of carbonic acid in it renders it agreeable to drink, capable of being transported to great distances, and of being preserved in bottles for a long period without injury. Not many yards from this spring is the Redoute, a handsome building, which includes under one roof a café, a theatre, ball-room, and gambling-rooms, where rouge et noir, roulette, and similar games are carried on nearly from morning to night. On Saturday a ball is given here during the season.
In former times the gaming-houses belonged to the Bishop of Liége, who was a partner in the concern, and derived a considerable revenue from his share in the ill-gotten gains of the manager of the establishment, and no
A bookseller near the Pouhon has a reading-room, where "The Times" and one or two other English papers are taken in. A list is published from time to time of all the arrivals in Spa; a large proportion of the names are English. Spa has, however, of late much fallen off in the number as well as rank of its visiters. It is, in fact, out of fashion, Since 1854 the English have deserted it for the Brunnen of Nassau, which far surpass Spa in their situation, and have another advantage in their near proximity to the beauties of the Rhine-in a district which offers excursions almost without end. During the time when Spa was the first watering-place in Europe, monarchs were as plentiful as weavers from Verviers now are at the springs; and more than once a congress of crowned heads has met here for sanatory, not for political purposes. Charles II. visited the spot while in exile; and Peter the Great repaired hither repeatedly.
The Baths are in a building separated from the spring; they belong to the town. A bath costs 2 francs.
Two English physicians are established at Spa, with the license of the Belgian government, Dr. Cutler and Dr. Dennis.
The other mineral springs besides the Pouhon are 5 in number, and are at a distance of between 2 and 3 m. from the town. The principal are1. The Géronstère; it is very beautifully situated. 2. The Sauvenière, on the road to Malmedy, in a little plantation of trees. 3. The Groesbeck, not far from the Sauvenière. 4. The Tonnelets, so called because the water was first collected in little tubs. There are baths attached to this spring. 5. The Bar
The daily routine at Spa is nearly as follows:- People begin the day with a preparatory glass at the Pouhon, to which they repair en déshabille, in their dressing-gowns, about 6 or 7 o'clock; after which they proceed, generally on horseback or in carriages, to the springs out of the town. Attached to almost all of them is a building corresponding to a pump-room, and they are surrounded with pleasure-grounds and walks, where a band of music is stationed, while the drinkers make their promenade to and fro till about 9 o'clock. At that hour the company return home, dress, and breakfast. As early as 11 in the morning the fatal Redoute opens, but there are the more healthy pleasures of exploring the walks and rides of the neighbourhood for such as do not patronise the gamingtable. It is the custom here for every body to ride on horseback. There are a great many ponies for hire; when a visiter finds out a tolerable one, he had better engage it for the whole period of his stay.
The hire of a pony for the whole day is 5 or 6 fr., and 2 or 3 fr. are paid to go and return from the springs in the morning. A carriage for making the tour of the springs costs 8 fr., charsà-banc and open omnibuses take persons round the springs at franc a-head. The dinner hour at the table d'hôte is 2 or 3 o'clock.
There are 2 packs of English hounds kept at Spa, one a subscription pack, known as the "Venerie Ardenaise," the other the "Dwarf Harriers" of M. Vackell. There is much game in the neighbourhood, and good trout, and grayling fishing.
Spa is famous for a peculiar manufactory of Wooden Toys, somewhat like the Tunbridge ware. The wood of which they are formed is stained by being steeped in the mineral waters, and receives a dark grey or brown tint from the iron. A considerable number of hands, and some artists of no mean skill, are employed in decorating them with paintings of flowers, &c.
There are two walks in the town, called the Promenades de Quatre Heures
and de Sept Heures, from the time of the day when they are frequented. Less monotonous are the winding paths up the heights overlooking the town. One of the walks near Spa is called the Colline de Lubin et Annette. The story of these two lovers is not an invention of Marmontel, but a true history of two peasants, cousins, and natives of the neighbourhood of Spa. These two young persons, left together as orphans at a very early age, fell in love with one another, and formed a secret attachment, perfectly ignorant that the Romish Church had declared the union of persons so nearly related to be a crime. They persevered in believing their union to be valid; and it is said that the Pope, when he heard their story, gave them a dispensation to legalise their marriage. Their cottage, built for them by an Englishman, stood till the end of the last century, near the road leading to the fountain of the Tonnelets.
The Cascade de Coo, on the Ambliol, about 9 m. off, is one of the customary excursions of the visiters at Spa.
Another is the ride to Montjardin, an old castle on the top of an escarped rock, still inhabited, and surrounded by gardens.
3 m. to the W. of Remouchamps is a little village on the Ambléve; and overhanging it the scanty ruins of another old castle, called by country people les Quatre fils Aymon (after these preux chevaliers of the nursery storybook): though reduced to a few broken walls, the recollection of the old romance gives an interest to it. It is likewise interesting as the residence of William de la Marck, the Boar of Ardennes, so called for the ferocity of his disposition, which has, however, been somewhat exaggerated by Sir Walter Scott, in the novel of Quentin Durward. He indeed slew the archbishop, but not in cold blood and at his own table, but in open fight, with arms in his hands, before the gates of Liége, in 1482. Some subterranean apartments, cut in the rock beneath the castle, are curious. A different road may be taken in returning to Spa,
by Adseux, near which a river precipi- |
The limestone mountains, which com. pose the chain of Ardennes, abound in natural caverns. One of these is found near Spa, at a place called Remouchamps. It contains some fine stalactites; but the views and descriptions published of it are on the whole exaggerated. The distance from Spa to the cave is about 9 miles, over a very 'stony cross-road, which will be difficult to find without the aid of a guide. It passes the village of La Reid up several steep hills, and across a wild heath, and thence descends into a rugged ravine, in which lie the cave and village of Remouchamps. At the little inn of the place the visiter is provided with a blouse to keep his dress clean, with candles, and a guide. The entrance is closed by a door, the keys of which are kept in the village, and it is shown for the benefit of the commune. The path is wet and slippery. The grotto is traversed by a stream which is supposed to be the same as that which buries itself in the ground near Adseaux, and which must pursue a subterranean course of some miles before it arrives at Remouchamps. The rock in which this cave is situated is that called by geologists the mountain limestone. It alternates with clay slate.
The traveller may proceed at once from the Spa to the Rhine by way of Malmedy (Route 43.), and Treves, and thence descend the Moselle to Coblenz by steam; or he may post from Malmedy to Prum, and there turning aside explore Eifel and its extinct volcanoes (Route 45.), and descend upon the most beautiful part of the Moselle, near the baths of Bertrich. By the first route it would take about 6 days to reach Coblentz, and by the second about 4 days. In travelling post, it is easy to reach Malmedy from Liége in one day, and Treves in a 2nd day.
The borders of the Moselle abound in objects of interest, combining picturesque scenery, wonderful geological phenomena, and remarkable Roman remains.
In going from Spa to Verviers we are compelled to retrace our steps as far as Pepinsterre.
From Liége to Aix, continued.
The valley presents a succession of large cloth factories, alternating with the neat and handsome country houses and gardens of their proprietors. The railway passes through
3 Ensival St.
2 Verviers Stat. The baggage of travellers entering Belgium from Prus sia is examined here, a tedious process, detaining the train one hour or more, and the carriages are changed. The Inns near the station are so bad that it is preferable to repair to those in the town, although 1 m. off. There is a "Restauration " at the station.
VERVIERS (Inns: H. de Flandres :→→ H. des Pays-Bas :- H. de France), on the Vesdre: its population already exceeds 27,000; an instance of recent and rapid growth, chiefly owing to the flourishing state of its cloth manufactories, which are said to produce second-rate fabrics cheaper and better than those of England and France. They employ in and around Verviers 40,000 hands; the cloth is exported to Italy and America, and formerly was consumed in large quantities by Holland. The Belgian army is clothed from the looms of Verviers. The water of the Vesdre is said to possess properties which fit it admirably for dyeing.
8 Dolhain St. Here passengers are sometimes made to alight in order that it may be seen that the carriages contain no small luggage.
Dolhain, once a suburb of Limburg, is now the town. On an eminence to the rt. above it, a church tower and some crumbling walls are seen: this is LIMBURG, formerly capital of the duchy of Limburg, now united to the province
of Liége. The town, once flourishing and strongly fortified, is reduced nearly to ruin. Its outworks were blown up by the French in the time of Louis XIV., and various calamities of war and fire have made it little better than a heap of ruins. Even so late as 1833-4, a fire consumed 40 houses and a church. The Ch. of St. George, gutted by fire not many years ago, plain within, contains an elegant Gothic tabernacle (date 1520), and a monument to a princess of Baden (1672). The view into the valley is pleasing, but there is nothing here worth stopping for. There are mines of zinc and coal in the neighbourhood, and much cheese is made in the district.
The Railway on leaving Dolhain quits the valley of the Vesdre.
The first Prussian station is
7 Herbesthal St., where passports are called for and taken away, and if not viséd and returned at once, they must be reclaimed at the Bureau des Passports, at the Aix-la-Chapelle station; the baggage is examined at Aix or Cologne. The railroad is carried on a bridge of 17 arches, 120 ft. high in the centre, over the Valley of the Geule; passes through 2 tunnels, the second of which is 2220 ft. long, pierced through a sand hill, and finally reaches Aix-la-Chapelle down an inclined plane, up which carriages are drawn by a stationary engine, in coming from Aix. 15 AIX-LA-CHAPELLE TERMINUS. Close to (rt.) Borcette.-(Route 36.)
RAILWAY MECHLIN OR BRUSSELS ΤΟ LIEGE, BY LOUVAIN.
Railroad. Brussels to Liége 114 kilomètres=711⁄2 miles. The journey to Liége requires 4 hours.
In order to reach Louvain from Brussels by railway, it is necessary to go round by Mechlin. Brussels to Mechlin 20 kilom., 12 m. See Route 23. Mechlin to Liége 94 kilom., 583 m. The stations from Mechlin to Louvain are
11 (from Mechlin) Haecht Stat.
There are 2 post roads from Brussels to Louvain, both the same length, viz., 34 posts, 151 m. a. By Cortenberg, passing the village of St. Josse te noode (St. Joseph in need), a saint invoked by ladies who wish to have a family; near which is the old castle of the Dukes of Ursel, once a residence of the Cardinal Granvilla, now a farm-house; and a little inn or guinguette called het Schapraatje, from which there is a fine view of Brussels.
About 6. m. from
Brussels the spire of the village church of Saventhem is seen on the left of the road, from which it is a mile distant. An admirable painting by Vandyck, to which the following story is attached, was restored to the church from the Louvre in 1817.- Vandyck having made great progress under his master, Rubens, was advised by him to go to Italy, and partly furnished by him with means to complete his studies there. He set out with the best intentions of devoting himself entirely to his art, on a white horse given him by Rubens; but had proceeded only thus far on his journey when he unluckily fell in love with a young girl of Saventhem, and there foolishly lost his time and money in pursuit of his passion. To show his devotion to her, and to comply with her request, he painted 2 pictures for the parish church; one, a Holy Family, in which he introduced portraits of his mistress and her parents: the other, in which he has represented himself as St. Martin, riding on the white horse given him by Rubens. Tidings of the truant at length reached the ears of his master, who sought him out, represented to him the folly of sacrificing his future prospects of fame and success to an obscure amour, and with some difficulty per