Bassenge

The Bassenge municipality lies between Tongeren, Liège and Maastricht and consists of six villages: Glons, Boirs, Roclenge-sur-Geer, Bassenge, Wonck and Eben-Emael. The Geer river flows through the municipality.

The Geer Valley boasts many landmarks. Let us start from the north of the municipality, in Eben-Emael. It is home to Fort d'Eben-Emael. The fort was built in the 1930s and was considered one of the strongest fortifications in Western Europe. German troops attacked the fort on 10 May 1940. You can discover the fort, its underground barracks and the maze of galleries with a guided visit. You can also take a walk around the top of the fort.

Let us continue with the Eben Museum, a haven of peace after we cross the threshold. The museum is the archaeological and folkloric heart of Bassenge. It is located in an 18th-century farm and annexes. You will see a headgear workshop (local straw industry), an old-time grocery shop (1930s), an old classroom (1930–1940) and a cigar workshop.

Eben-Ezer Tower, bearing the four cherubim of the Apocalypse, lies a few kilometres down the road. The tower is home to the Flint Museum. Next to the Tower of Apocalypse, as Eben-Ezer Tower is also known, lies the Broukay Mill, known for its lively courses, its park and its exhibition of fantastic art. It is also one of the seven starting points for hikes around the Montagne St-Pierre area.

We are now in Wonch and ready to discover its caves. They were excavated by the tufa mining industry and provided shelter during World War II. The Wonck caves are now used to grow mushrooms and provide a fairy-tale setting for the Christmas Craft Market.

Let us continue towards the village of Bassenge for a stopover at the Petit-Lourdes, built in 1888. It is a faithful recreation of Massabielle Cave in Lourdes. 

The Petit-Lourdes still attracts numerous pilgrims every year thanks to its open-air masses and a great torchlight procession every 14 August.

We have now reached Roclenge-sur-Geer.

The kiosk opposite the old town hall stands as a memento of a prosperous and blooming period for straw workers until the start of the 19th century. It opened in 1904. Inhabitants of the Geer Valley have been known for their straw-weaving skills since the 15th century. The Geer Valley was home to numerous straw hat factories. Many renowned hatters left the area for big European capitals such as Paris and London. Roclenge was their holiday site, where they flaunted their wealth and success. This is why Roclenge has a kiosk and many bourgeois villas and host houses.

We then head to Glons and discover the old graveyard. It contains a well which was discovered during excavations, as well as the Romanesque tower of the old church demolished in 1901, which was replaced by the current church in the town centre.

Looking for a way to discover the jaw-dropping Geer Valley? On foot, the municipality has two starting points for marked hikes around the Montagne St-Pierre area. We already mentioned the first one at Broukay Mill: three hikes (ranging from 3.7 to 12.2 km) start from here. The other starting point is at the old Town Hall, opposite the kiosk in Roclenge-sur-Geer: four hikes ranging from 5 to 12 km.

Looking for another way across the Valley? Several nodes make it easier to discover the Valley on a bicycle. The Balade des Cerisiers (31 km) goes through Eben-Emael and the Via Jecore (25 km) and takes you across the Valley from Tongeren to Maastricht.

There are also culture and festivities, with various processions and the Hoûres brightening up the Carnival. The cramignons are big dancing processions which take place in Bassenge during the festivities from June to October.

Want to visit our beautiful municipality in the Geer Valley? Want to find out more about hikes or bike rides? Contact Syndicat Initiative Bassenge on +32 (0)4 286 91 46 – 63, via e-mail (katrijn.lekens@bassenge.bejoel.stokis@bassenge.be ) or on the Facebook page of the Syndicat d’Initiative de Bassenge (Tourist Board).