Situated in the municipality of Assesse in Wallonia, Belgium, the village of Crupet will charm you with breath-taking and idyllic views. Known as the Wonderland of Wallonia, Crupet offers an abundance of interesting things to see. If you dream of the perfect Sunday promenade with your beloved ones among quietness, fresh air and green landscapes in the countryside, then treat yourself with a day in Crupet, the prettiest village in Belgium.
This could be the motto of Crupet’s hospitable residents. Walking around the village, you will come across tens of heart-melting signs, such as a box of herbs or a pot of flowers, inviting passersby to pick a stalk of basil or a bouquet. Or, you might see a small library-shelf in the street, where bookworms could borrow a book. A chance of a random rendezvous with a local is high, and it could turn into an acquaintance and a pleasant conversation in the local pub. All of this is only a small part of the charm of Crupet.
There are two memorable mills in Crupet. They are both well-preserved pieces of the village’s heritage.
On the right bank of the Crupet stream is situated a large, 300-year-old building of the former “Delvosal” paper mill. It was built in the distant 1769 from limestone rubble. The machinery of the mill was installed in the two lower levels of the backside.
In 1850, the paper mill was converted into a flour mill and 150 years later – into the well-known local hotel “Le Moulin des Ramiers”.
Another local gem you should stop by is the Old oil factory mill. It was built in 1847 and remained open until 1865. Its wooden mill wheel and the ivy-covered façade are noticeable from the street. The meadow behind the building is the perfect picturesque spot for a picnic.
The Carondelet Castle dates back to the 11th century. It is a massive medieval donjon, partially submerged in the waters of the lake of Crupet. Over the years, the castle has been owned by several different families and inherited by marriage in 1667 by the Mérode family, who kept it until the French revolution.
The main building had three floors constructed by limestone and was restored in 1925 by an architect named Adrien Blomme. Several elements were later built on, like one extra floor and a new roof, windows in the Renaissance style and a stair tower.
The Chapelle Saint Roch, a little bijou, built in 1867, is a spiritual and cultural heritage for the locals. The church has been left neglected for a long time, until 2014 when people from the whole area joined forces and raised funds to save it. The Chapelle Saint Roch rises proudly from its small hill.
Only several parts of the original medieval structure survived the trials of the ages – the Romanesque tower and the nave. Next to Saint Martin's church are the gravestones of the lords of Crupet and the old stone cross from the 17th century.
The massive building of the old school made from sandstone and limestone has been designed to accommodate a multitude of students, but also the teacher’s premises and the village hall.
Just below the attic window, in large numbers, the year of the establishment of the school is carved – 1863. The school existed as such for 109 years. In 1972, it became the village’s functioning hall.
In the 19th century, after a small landslide, a piece of land sloped down, between the church and the presbytery. Canon Gérard, the then priest of Crupet, drew up work plans to excavate the grotto. Dozens of parishioners joined the mission and dug out more than 300 tonnes of earth. It took them three years to make the place suitable for visitors. Today, the grotto is perhaps the first and most striking attraction for tourists in Crupet.
At the back of the cave, an impressive depiction could be seen – three statues made of cast-iron. Capturing a moment of eternity – the devil with wings and horns hunting for souls, a blind unsuspecting beggar and the young Father Gérard pushing the devil away. Above this powerful scene, down the stone stairs in a small cave, are the remains of Canon Gérard.
After the long inspiring walk, the tavern “Le Pechis” awaits to tempt you with a modest, but delicious menu of local dishes and beer. If you sit outside, you will benefit from the magnificent view of the grotto and the church, while enjoying the excellently prepared food.
Another proof of the beauty and the charm of Crupet is the fact that the village is a member of the organization “Les Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie”. And there you have it - a day in Crupet, the prettiest village in Belgium, is guaranteed to leave a lasting memory in your mind and heart.
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