ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the bluestone Church of Notre-Dame-de-Givet, at 'Little Givet', France: overlooking the Meuse River

Updated on September 10, 2015
Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
Notre-Dame-de-Givet | Source
Notre-Dame-de-Givet church frontage
Notre-Dame-de-Givet church frontage | Source
Bluestone quarry, Givet, Ardennes department, France
Bluestone quarry, Givet, Ardennes department, France | Source

Time stands still beside the historic river

This striking ecclesiastical structure with a prime site overlooking the Meuse River (1) dates from the 18th century, but a previous building which it replaced is reputed to have been built in the 8th century.

What is reliably known is that the previous building was destroyed in 1696, and that its replacement was erected between the years 1729 and 1732.

Executed in bluestone (of this, more, later), among the structure's more significant features is its spire, which, in the absence of many other tall buildings in the vicinity, gives it a prominent part to the skyline of 'Little Givet' (French: Petit-Givet)(2). Its riverside location also makes its reflection in the Meuse's waters very much a local feature on a clear day.

Features of the building's east-facing frontage include several Classical pilasters which blend with Romanesque arches at windows, a doorway and alcoves. (Maybe slightly incongruously — or maybe by design? — a modern clock has been placed asymmetrically.)

Interestingly, the bluestone in which the structure is executed was quarried in the 18th century at a local quarry which continues to serve as a source for this popular building material in the region. I have also supplied a photo of this still active quarry.

Another significant feature of the building is that it lies within 2 or 3 kilomteres — walkable — of the border with Belgium (3), flowing into which country is the Meuse River, upon which the building's shadow falls. There is something this slightly surreal in the way the spatial and historical elements come together at this fine structure, with its spire reaching for the skies at the area known as la pointe de Givet (Givet Point), beside an historic river already used as communications artery by the Romans. Time almost seems to stand still, while the adjacent, great river inexorably keeps moving.

Givet is in the Ardennes department of France's Champagne-Ardennes region. The town and its 'Petit Givet' suburb are thus situated in a very interesting area of the country.

September 10, 2015


(1) Immediately by the church building is the marina; more distantly lies a commercial river port.

(2) Petit-Givet — 'Little Givet' — is the suburb of Givet which lies on the eastern bank of the Meuse River, opposite the Downtown area of Givet.

(3) Significantly, the local language in Givet used to be Walloon rather than French; this situation is similar to the former existence of Walloon-speaking border villages in the Gran Duchy of Luxembourg. It is interesting that, while the Belgian state used the excuse of the existence of Walloon-speaking localities along the border with Germany at the end of World War One in order to annex the mainly German-speaking Cantons de l'Est, which remain part of Belgium, no such measure was contemplated regarding the formerly Walloon-speaking Pointe de Givet, which belonged to Belgium's powerful ally, France! Despite the road and river proximity, however, of Givet to Belgium, it would be incorrect and inappropriate to attribute to the town a 'Belgian' character; and, in any case, a prominent French Revolutionary musician, Étienne Méhul (1763-1817), was from the town.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Map location of the Canton of Givet
Map location of the Canton of Givet | Source

Also worth seeing

In Givet itself, the imposing Fort Charlemont overlooks the town; Givet has some interesting ecclesiastical architecture and a striking Town Hall; the Tour Victoire has watched over the Meuse River since the Middle Ages; a nature reserve was designated in the Pointe de Givet (see also above) at the end of the 20th century.

Dinant , Belgium (distance: 20 kilometres); this town on the Meuse River has an impressive, collegiate church, a fortified citadel and the Bayard Rock landmark.


How to get there: The nearest large, international airport to Givet is Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), Belgium, to which Brussels Airlines flies from New York. Car rental is available from Brussels Airport. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, please refer to appropriate consular sources.

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


    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)