Bastogne, a city full of memories
Bastogne is an important historical tourism destination in Belgium where you can visit numerous monuments and museums dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge, One of the key battles of the Second World War.
This Walloon town is situated in the province of Luxembourg, where the Rhine valley and the Meuse valley meet. The city has always been a town that people passed through, first for the nomadic peoples and then for the Romans.
In the middle ages, Bastogne was a fortified town. It's ramparts had 15 turrets, of which only one remains today, the Porte de Trèves.
You can also admire the Saint-Pierre church. The original building dates back to the 12th century and its enormous roman bell tower is evidence of this. The inside was completely rebuilt in the 15th century. Visitors are immediately struck by the quality of the Romanesque fonts that are sculpted entirely from the stone.
But Bastogne owes its fame to the Rundstedt Offensive, better known as the Battle of the Bulge.
Bastogne's rememberence museums
On the town's main square, the "Sherman" tank and the statue of General McAuliffe are reminders of the Ardennes resistance during the Battle of the Bulge. Why not visit the museums and monuments that commemorate this moment of history, notably the Bois de la Paix (Wood of Peace).
Only 3km from the town, on the Mardasson hill, a new place of rememberence dedicated to the Second World War, the Bastogne War Museum, open its doors in Spring 2013. This museum will be the brand new Centre de la Mémoire de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (Second World War Rememberence Centre).
Right next to the museum lies the Mardasson Memorial. This gigantic star-shaped construction is a hommage from the Belgian people to the Allied forces who came to their aid during the Battle of the Bulge.
Visits and discoveries around Bastogne
History lovers can follow the Battle of the Bulge - Route 5 discovery route to learn everything about the events, main characters and anecdotes of one of the Second World War's bloodiest battles.
As for sports fans, many may already know that the oldest road cycling race still running today, the 'Monument' "Liège-Bastogne-Liège" passes throught the town.