History and origin of the Ardennes
The Ardennes are the majority in the Belgian province of Luxembourg and partly in the provinces of Liege and Namur. Partially also in Luxembourg and France. Geographically and geologically the Ardennes and the German Eifel belong together.
Geologically, we distinguish between the High and Low Ardennes. The Low Ardennes are available to about 30 km south of the Meuse. These include the Herve, Condroz and Famenne. The High Ardennes are on the eastern border (with Germany and Luxembourg) and in the southeast against France.
The Ardennes are formed 30 to 20 million years back by lifting of the landscape. This created a plateau crossed by rivers. The area along the German border was lifted higher than along the French border, in which the Haute Fagnes (High Fens) is the highest peak found. Here peaks the Botrange (694 meters) and the Baraque Michel (674 meters). In southern Belgium and the Ardennes, the height decreased to peaks of up to 450 meters.
Numerous of small rivers originate in the Ardennes hills. Most waters end in the Meuse river. In the South the strong meandering Semois, in the middle the Lesse, Ourthe and Amblève. The Our and Sure flow through Luxembourg to the Moselle. Also there are many caves in the Ardennes, especially caves created in the limestone layer. In the town of Han-sur-Lesse the river Lesse, which flows partly underground, created a cave system.
The Ardennes are for onethird forests that is interspersed with agricultural areas. The agricultural areas are created by logging into the flatter areas. Already in 1850, three quarters of the forest was cut down. As the demand for timber stayed high, Pinetrees were planted as of 1850. Since 1960 they also placed deciduous trees. Where the terrain is to steep or near rivers and streams, the landscape is left intact.
The Ardennes were due to its remote location not densely inhabited and still not many people live here. Only on the edges are some big cities like Liege and Namur. Many important events of the past have not occurred in the Ardennes. However in the aftermath of World War II, there was heavy fighting in the area. At the end of 1944, because the Germans made one last major offensive against the Allies, the famous Battle of the Ardennes took place where much damage was done, several old historic centers were destroyed.
The name Ardennes
"Ar-Denn," was the Celtic word for oak. One could therefore assume that the Ardennes in the period before our era were almost completely covered with (oak) forest. Since the time of the Celts, the deciduous forests partially replaced by plantations of Spruce's (sparring), but the landscape is still dominated by forest.
Yet the appearance of the Ardennesis not only determined by trees. In the urban areas around Luxembourg, Liege and Charleroi and in the industrial basin of Hainaut the landscape is dominated by human development. In most other parts of the Ardennes, the height determined the view.
Another theory about the origin of the name "Ardennes" goes back to the Celtic word ardu ', meaning' high'.
With the demolition of the original rock originated in this part Europe gradually got different soils varying in fertility, that have given the regions of the Ardennes each its own character. Based on these characteristics the area described here, is divided into five geological zones (clay, limestone, rock, sandstone and Oesling). The various rocks from these areas are often found in the structures of the different areas.
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Camping Bertrix is a four star campsite. By the ANWB (Dutch car federation) rated as best campsite in the Ardennes.