Wallonia found itself in the frontline of Napoleon’s last stand at Waterloo and both World Wars, and a remarkable array of military relics, museums, forts, cemeteries and memorials makes the region a fascinating destination for memorial tourism, whether for a long weekend or an extended visit.
From Mons and Plugstreet in the west to Bastogne and Liège in the east there are sites of great historical interest, and Wallonia Belgium Tourism has produced a richly illustrated memorial magazine designed to accompany you on your visit to the key sites.
You can read, download or order a free copy of the magazine.
Wallonia in the Wars
By a strange twist of fate, Wallonia found itself at the frontline of three of the most important conflicts in modern European history.
The years 1815, 1914-18 and 1940-45 saw this blameless region invaded, occupied, pillaged and finally liberated.
Also see our calendar of special events that take place in Wallonia throughout the year.
We have also produced useful memorial guides for the Mons, Namur and Liège regions.
WBT - P. Tombelle
As everyone knows, the First World War was particularly bloody, causing millions of casualties. Mons did not escape the destructive wave of events and, against its will, played host to major and tragic events.
The province of Namur at the heart of the Great War
Province de Namur
As at Liège, Namur had been fortified between 1888 and 1892 with the construction of a ring of nine forts around the town to defend the Sambre and Meuse Rivers. The strategic importance of controlling the access to the valleys of the Sambre and the Meuse rivers offer a natural explanation for the strong presence of military operations in the region.
Memorial Tourism in the Province of Liège
Pronvince de Liège
Twice in a quarter of a century the Liège region had the tragic misfortune of being on the front line of major clashes that involved Belgium. Constructed at the end of the 19th century, the "Fortified Position of Liege" had to sustain the assault of August 1914 and then, strengthened and rearmed, the attack of May 1940. No fewer than eleven fortresses can still be visited.