ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Brûly-de-Pesche, Belgium: the macabre and the triumphant in a wooded hamlet

Updated on July 27, 2013
Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
Brûly-de-Pesche, church
Brûly-de-Pesche, church | Source
The Wolf's Lair, Hitler's Bunker in the Ardennes, Brûly-de-Pesche, near Couvin, Belgium
The Wolf's Lair, Hitler's Bunker in the Ardennes, Brûly-de-Pesche, near Couvin, Belgium | Source
Map location of Couvin, in Namur province, Belgium
Map location of Couvin, in Namur province, Belgium | Source

Pause for thought

Brûly-de-Pesche is a hamlet near Couvin, in southern Belgium's Namur province, situated in the Walloon region (French: Région wallonne ).

For varying reasons, this place is both sinister and pleasantly stimulating at the same time.

The bunker

Sinister, because Adolf Hitler maintained his military headquarters and bunker here in 1940, at the time of the Fall of France. Quickly built by an advance part of engineers, this bunker in woodland at Brûly-de-Pesche was Hitler's coordinating base during the Blitzkrieg and subsequent negotiations in June of 1940. It was at Brûly-de-Pesche that the terms of the Armistice with a France now led by Marshall Philippe Pétain were drawn up (1). At headquarters known as the Wolf's Lair (French: Ravin des Loups ), the bunker is one of the few parts of the headquarters which remain; its interior may be viewed. Meauring 7 by 7 metres, the structure was erected with a view to withstanding possible Allied air attack. Even a small, open air swimming pool, ghastly because of its association with Hitler's use of it, may still be seen.

The Allied triumph

But it is also interesting that the woods at Brûly-de-Pesche, as well as having hidden the sinister Nazi leader and his entourage, later concealed Belgian partisans, assisted by the Allied armies, in their finally triumphant struggle against the invaders of Belgium. In fact, a wooden structure has been reconstituted in the woods of Brûly-de-Pesche, a replica of one which was erected to harbour World War Two partisans.

Thus, the historical memories which these woods at Brûly-de-Pesche evoke are both ones of the macabre violators of Belgian sovereignty, led by a sinister maniac, but also ones of patriots and liberators. Even in this small hamlet, the presence of a blot on history may be said to be complemented by memories of the seeds of constructive, historical developments.

The church building

The small church building in the hamlet has interesting architectural aspects. Built in 1855, on land given by the Duke of Croÿ, the structure incorporates stone entrance arching. The current spire is post-war, since Hitler's henchmen dismantled the existing one in 1940, in order to build a water tower to serve the military headquarters that Hitler and his staff were to occupy. It is known that the small building was used as a projection room.

The hamlet's setting in peaceful and picturesque woodland, and its historically informative associations with World War Two, thus make it a worthwhile place to visit.

May 4, 2012


(1) For the morally questionable arrangements with the Nazi German invaders, Marshall Pétain, distinguished World War One military leader, was condemned to death on conviction of treason in 1945, although out of respect for his age the sentence itself was not actually carried out. Jailed for the remainder of his life, Marshall Pétain died in 1951. In Belgium, however, the country's government chose in 1940 to go into exile, rather than deal with the German invaders. King Leopold III of the Belgians himself did not flee from the country and was essentially a prisoner, later deported to Germany and Austria, although after the Liberation of Belgium many Belgians associated various controversies with him, necessitating his continuing exile, and, later, abdication in favour of his elder son, who became King Baudoin I of the Belgians; Leopold died in 1983.

Also worth seeing

Dinant , Belgium (distance: 55 kilometres) has impressive ecclesiastical architecture; the town is situated on the Meuse River.

Givet , France (distance: 36 kilometres) has various examples of interesting architecture, including a fort overlooking the town, which is situated on the Meuse River.


How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available. Distance from Brussels Airport to Brûly-de-Pesche : 136 kilometres. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)