Stavelot-Malmédy: Hairy Cows?


On the way to the Nature Reserve at Botrange we passed through a few charming German towns.  The architecture is immediately different. On the way out of Botrange, however, we drive through Malmédy.  The hilly, narrow roads are great if you are not the one driving. From the passenger seat I get to soak in a bird’s eye view of the village’s rooftops as we meander up then down a steep hill through town. Somewhere along the way I ask to pull over because this scene is just too amazing to not share with you all:


There’s actually a solitary house on the far bank of this river but I can’t quite zoom in on it. Understandably, there are many restaurants and gites along this road to take advantage of the wonderful view. We decide not to walk around this town though. But as we make a sharp turn around the base of the hill, I catch some hairy beasts out of the corner of my eye so we double back to see if I’m imagining bisons:


They don’t really look like any cows I’ve ever seen, but not exactly buffalo or bison either…can anyone please enlighten me? Maybe just very hairy cows?



The sun is getting sleepy by now so we don’t loiter too long here and push ahead to Stavelot. Boy, am I glad that we did get out of the car here:


Most of the town center is cobblestoned…


and here and there you will find a white mask with a very long red nose. It turns out that these masks are the very same ones worn during the Carnival of the Blanc Moussis that will be taking place later this month (I hope to blog about a few of these carnivals later).


From the city center you immediately see a great big red structure. It is the Abbaye de Stavelot, an 11th century abbey destroyed during the French Revolution and recently (around 2002) restored to the tune of 16,000,000 Euros! It is an architectural marvel how this place is being renovated. Three museums (Guillaume Apollinaire Museum–he was a poet; Museum of the Principality of Stavelot-Malmédy; and the Spa-Francorchamps Racetrack Museum) share in this vast space, and the weaving of the past with technology is incredibly creative. On the site you can see the archaeological remains of the original abbey blending into modern, glass encased annexes. I will post more pictures of the abbey when I return for the carnival. I actually took a ton of pictures of this place but they got deleted by accident and this is the only one I have left:


  1. Catherine

    Love love cobblestoned streets!
    And the scenery is breath taking! thank you for sharing it with us!

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