At the gateway to the Fagne, between groves and forests
Situated halfway between Limbourg and Eupen, the village of Baelen has existed for eleven centuries! Its name comes from the Celtic words bal (“on the bank”) and en (river), in reference to its location.
The villages of Baelen and Membach, situated on the borders of the Hertogenwald and the groves of the Herve, offer the image of a majestic landscape contrasting the orchards to the north, the vast Forest of the Dukes to the south and, right in the middle, a rural area full of character at the gateway to the Fagne.
Baelen’s architectural heritage stands out for Saint Paul’s Church and its twisted clock tower (clocher tors), a distinctive characteristic. Saint John the Baptist’s Church in Membach stands out due to its tower with a bulbous roof.
La Gileppe Dam, partly on Baelen-Membach territory, is undeniably a major tourist attraction. Its 78-metre-high panoramic tower houses an information centre and a fine brasserie restaurant. Today, La Gileppe Dam, its monumental lion and its lake attract visitors (tourists and locals) in search of walks, peace and quiet and nature!
It is also worth mentioning the superb natural heritage of Baelen-Membach. These landscapes can be discovered throughout the course of several marked routes, going through pretty hamlets and offering magnificent scenic views, or during a visit to the Arboretum nature park. The diversity of the landscapes give these hamlets their character: within a few kilometres, you go from the typical groves of the Herve area to green forest and finally end up in the Fagne.
It is something to be enjoyed (again) on foot or on a bike, alone or with the family!