The experience afforded by East Belgium cannot be described in just a few words. This natural region, framed by Wallonia, Germany and Luxembourg, is a cultural melting pot that is one of a kind: tradition and language, nature and culinary art are all closely interwoven and yet strictly separated from each other in this European border region. Find out here what makes this region so unique.

Off we go!

The “Hertogenwald” forest In the northern part of East Belgium
Hertogenwald forest © ostbelgien.eu/ D. Ketz

East Belgium – Welcome to Europe‘s vibrant garden! Tradition, language, nature and cuisine


The High Fens On the roof of Belgium


High Fens © ostbelgien.eu/ D. Ketz

Embark on a hiking trip to the High Fens Over footbridges and stones

Whether cyclists, hikers or explorers, Belgium’s oldest nature reserve has a lot to offer: Plentiful and rare flora and fauna, varied and secured cycling and hiking trails as well as nature park centres covering an array of different topics.

Hiking in the High Fens

The Nature Park Centres An educational time in the High Fens-Eifel Nature Park

Entertaining fun for the whole family with no risk of boredom. Botrange Nature Park Centre with its permanent exhibition FANIA and Termell Nature Centre provide extensive information of the rich history of the High Fens and its impact on the fauna and flora of the region. Natural scientists – young and old – can then talk shop in the cosy, adjoining inns.

To the Nature Park Centres

 

Nature Park Centre Botrange © ostbelgien.eu/ D. Ketz
Bütgenbach Lake © ostbelgien.eu/ D. Ketz

Bütgenbach and Robertville Lakes Bathing fun along the Vennbahn

Bütgenbach and Robertville Lakes are just a stone’s throw away from the High Fens, offering relaxation, a great deal of fun for bathers and the chance for a refreshing dip to cool off in the summer!

More on bathing fun

The colourful world of plants Botanical rarities

The face of the moors alternates between sombre and mystical, yet some plants unfailingly ensure there are fresh splashes of colour in the landscape.

More for nature enthusiasts
High Fens © ostbelgien.eu
High Fens © Hugo Willocx

Fascinating fauna Artful survival artists

The animal species of the High Fens love the tranquillity there, appreciate the rough living conditions and the ingenious balance of a functioning ecological system. There is even a particularly endangered species of bird among the fauna here: the black grouse.

More for nature enthusiasts

Culture and cuisine More than chips, beer and chocolate

The location of East Belgium between Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Wallonia makes the region a cultural hot spot. The different languages and eventful history ensure that not only nature enthusiasts but also people with an interest in culture will find what they are looking for here. Top-class products provide the basis for delicious, regional cuisine and a dining scene of the highest of standards.

© ostbelgien.eu

East Belgium’s unique landscape of indulgence From plain fare to haute cuisine

East Belgians have an innate “savoir-vivre” and know how to enjoy life. Regional products increasingly play a key role when it comes to food, and traditional dishes from around the Eifel and Ardennes are now among the culinary hallmarks just as much as the exquisite Belgian-French cuisine. Here, too, the diverse influences brought about by the enclosed location of the region are brought to bear once more, because between plain fare and haute cuisine almost anything goes.

More culinary delights

 

Castles and stately homes Architectural masterpieces

All of the numerous stately homes, castles and churches in East Belgium skilfully draw attention to themselves and breathe life into these historical places connected with the history of East Belgium, some of which was of a fateful nature.

To the castles
Reinhardstein Castle © ostbelgien.eu/ D. Ketz
St. Vith History Museum © vennbahn.eu/ D. Ketz

History of the region A journey into the past

A large number of small museums provide an account of the rich history of East Belgium. Lovingly set up and with attention to detail, they trace a chronological journey through time across the region. For anyone wishing to grasp this colourful cultural history, a trip to one of the many museums is an absolute must.

To the museums

 

East Belgium and its language diversity It’s all about the location

The location in the heart of Europe has had a lasting influence on East Belgium. Covering an area of 1,036 square kilometres, East Belgium proves surprisingly large in terms of its culture, language and cuisine. This rich diversity is also reflected in the language. Apart from the francophone municipalities of Malmedy and Waimes, most of the people of East Belgium speak German.

More language diversity

 

 

Malmedy © ostbelgien.eu, D. Ketz

Discover East Belgium The region's highlights

Reuland Castle Distance to the Vennbahn: 0,5 km

Reuland Castle dating from the 12th century was a towering complex well into the 18th century.  Today’s ruins still measure 55 metres by 65 metres. Besides the actual fortified castle, it also had a castle ring and a moat on two sides with a rampart. Until the early 14th century it served as the residence of the noble Reuland family. The castle boasts a collection of finds from on-site archaeological excavations.

Pottery Museum Raeren Distance to the Vennbahn: 2,6 km

The moated castle of Raeren rises above the village with an air of resilience. The castle is home to the pottery museum of the village from which stoneware was exported all over the globe from the 16th to the 19th century. Over 2,000 exhibits document the erstwhile significance of the pottery factories. The self-assured craftsmen did not mince their words. In around 1590, Jan Emens-Menneken, Raeren’s most famous potter, adorned his tankards with ribald sayings criticising the church – which visitors can read for themselves on one of the jugs displayed in the glass cabinet. In addition, Roman and contemporary ceramic works from the Meuse–Rhine Euroregion forge a historico-cultural bridge from the ancient world until the present day.

St. Vith History Museum Distance to the Vennbahn: 0,5 km

This museum is run by the historical society “Between Venn and Schneifel” in the former railway station building dating from the end of the 19th century. In addition to the regional political history of the 20th century, visitors can concern themselves with the issues of local history and the history of the Vennbahn, and find out about various skilled trades, all of which are on display in rooms equipped with multimedia facilities set up specifically for this purpose. The result is an interactive museum which has many a surprise in store for each visitor.


Robertville Lake Distance to the Vennbahn: 1,5 km

It is a long time ago that Robertville was known for its peat cutters, The dam, with which the Warche river was backed up to form a lake of around 198 acres in size almost 90 years ago, has made Robertville a Mecca for those looking for rest and relaxation. Dense forest extends right up to the banks. The Haelen bridge, which crosses the middle of the lake, affords the most spectacular views.

Bütgenbach Lake Distance to the Vennbahn: 4 km

The dam, erected in 1932, resulted in the formation of a lake spanning around 297 acres and has become a veritable magnet for recreational activities. Sailing boats and surfers are a prominent feature there in summer. Visitors are drawn by the sandy shores and lawns for sunbathing on the banks of the lake. Hiking trails and bicycle and mountain bike tours encircle the lake. In a nutshell, a paradise for outdoor and water sports enthusiasts.

Our valley Distance to the Vennbahn: 0,1 km

The Our valley is an unspoiled river valley deep in the south of East Belgium not far from the border with Luxembourg. In addition to stunning panoramic views, the valley is characterised by lively villages and farms nestled in picturesque settings.


Vennbahn stories Tales and historical facts about the Vennbahn