This is quite an interesting sight near Spa. I was surprised to learn of the castle's place in the history of Wallonian daring do. Apparently six hundred men defended it against all odds at one time in the late middle ages, and the then Belgian king used Franchimont as the venue for his rallying speech to the troops on the outbreak of World War 1. It is obviously the Wallonian Alamo! The tape tour is a must, and whilst very informative, is also over long and a bit dry at times. There is an informative and well done video at the start of the tour, and by the time we left the castle after about 2 hours, I knew all about the various stages of construction. I am too fat and lazy to go down to the bunkers- we had hiked over the hills from Spa on the day of our visit, and I was too hot and tired to squeeze down a load of steps.
The lady on the front desk was friendly. The place could have done with a fridge of cold beers, and, potentially, soft drinks for children, recovering alcoholics and religious fanatics. The cafe above the castle is closed. If you, too, feel like hiking from Spa, guided, perhaps, by the Ciccerone guide 'Walking in the Ardennes', be aware that there are trains back to Spa (hurrah!) at four minutes past the hour from the station below the castle. There is also a somewhat less regular bus service.
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