La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium

It was the Battle of the Bulge that brought me to La Roche-en-Ardenne but that is not the only reason to visit as it is a popular tourist destination in its own right.  Located on the River Ourthe,in the Ardennes, its hstory goes back to the Neolithic era and a site under archaeological excavation dates to 850BCE and 520BCE. The Romans built a fort here around two thousand years ago.  Construction of the castle that we can see today dates from the ninth century whilst the city walls were constructed from 1331.

The town played an important role in December 1944 and January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge when serious damage occured.  It was initially liberated in September 1944 but was recaptured during the Ardennes Offensive.  Today we can visit the museum which tells the story of the battle and offers interesting before and after photographs showing the massive scale of destruction that happened to the town, with major loss of life, as the USAAF pulverised the town which was an important communications centre with a bridge over the River Ourthe.  We can today see an American Sherman M4A1 tank and a British Achilles self propelled 17pdr artillery displayed.

For motorhomers, there is a free aire located in wooded area in Rue des Evêts, 1,100 metres from the centre of La Roche en Ardenne.  

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