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Rochefort - Main Attractions

Han-sur-Lesse, a few kilometres from Rochefort, is an important stop off for any visitor to the region. There is easily a day's worth of visits to make in this village alone. Next to the church in the village centre is a ticket booth where you can purchase tickets for the animal park, the underground caves, or a combined ticket for both.

Caves
: from here, you board the old diesel tram (early 20th Century) which takes you to the cave entrance about a mile away in the woods. The exploration of the caves began in 1771 but is still far from complete. Only a small proportion of the caves are open to the public. A cave tour lasts about 45 minutes. Impressive sights include the Dome, rising to 387 feet.
There is a sound and light show at the end of the visit followed by a short boat ride on the River Lesse to the exit. A large screen in the “Spéléothème” (a short walk from the cave's exit) brings the caves to life once more through film. The Museum of the Underground World takes about an hour to visit. It displays the archaeological vestiges discovered in the cave's underwater chasms.

Animal Park: a safari train takes visitors around the park for about 45 minutes. All the animals that once lived in the region can be seen here. Bears, lynx and wolves are among the attractions. There are also tarpans (wild horses) alongside a host of other animals who still live wild in the surrounding countryside.

Lorette Caves: in the reception pavilion you can see a film about tectonic phenomena. The lighting of the cave has been completely renovated. The highlight of the visit is the light and sound show in the 270ft. high Sabbat Hall. The visitor stands on a ledge 90ft. high ledge in the Sabbat Hall during this spectacular show.

The Chapel of Lorette: it is this chapel that gave its name to the nearby cave. Built in 1620 by the Countess of Rochefort it is an exact copy of the Loreto sanctuary in Italy.

Castle Ruins: built in limestone during the 12th century on a promontory dominating the town, it was occupied until the 19th century. The castle was then sold and dismantled.

Abbey of Saint-Remy: only 2 miles from Rochefort on the road to Ciney, the abbey is hidden at the end of a small side road leading into the woods. Founded in 1230 it was abandoned in 1794.
It was reopened in 1887. It is here that the Rochefort Trappist beer is still brewed by the monks. Only men are allowed to visit on special request.

The quarries of Saint-Remy are those from which the red marble was extracted and exported throughout Europe to decorate the most prestigious buildings. Saint-Peter in Rome and the Palace of Versailles are amongst the lucky recipients.

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Belgian Tourist Office Wallonia 217 Marsh Wall London E14 9FJ Tel: 0207 531 0390 info@belgiumtheplaceto.be