Virton Tourist Attractions
The little town of Virton, at the extreme southern tip of Belgium right on the French border, is situated at the confluence of the rivers Vire and Ton.Virton is to a large extent dependent on tourism and is an excellent base for excursions in the surroundings.Numerous finds testify that the area was settled in Neolithic, Roman and Merovingian times. Virton itself developed from the Roman foundation of Vertunum. From the 16th C. a thriving iron casting industry developed here.
Virton is the chief place of the peaceful district of Gaume and the landscape is reminiscent of Lorraine; it is blessed with a mild climate so that in the extreme south viticulture is possible.
In buildings of a 17th C. monastery is the Musée gaumais which is concerned with the history and culture of the Gaume region. The various departments exhibit examples of iron casting, including more than 150 fireplace plates, the oldest of which date from the 16th C., firebacks and pothooks; finds from Gallo-Roman times, various items of household furniture and everyday articles typical of Gaume, a collection of Boch stoneware of the 18th C. as well as 16-18th C. woodcarving. Also on view are watercolors by Nestor Outer, a friend of Toulouse-Lautrec, oil paintings by Camille Barthélemy, who painted views of Virton, and among other things the painting "Adam and Eve mourn for Abel" by Frère Abraham (18th C.) from the Abbey of Orval. Three other museums in the vicinity are associated with the Musée gaumais.
At the Ferme de Huombois, 9km/5.5mi from Virton on the road to Buzenol, it is possible to see kilns and pottery articles dating from the Gallo-Roman era (on inquiry at the Musée gaumais).
Near Buzenol, 13km/8miles north of Virton, there is a 340m/1,116ft-high hill which was already fortified in Roman times. Remains of the fortification walls from this and later periods have been preserved and can be seen in the "Parc archéologique". In the adjoining museum there are fine Gallo-Roman reliefs including a representation of the Celtic reaper mentioned by Plinius the Elder. A number of old smithies and foundries have been preserved in the wooded valley.
About 4km/2.5miles southeast of Virton lies Montquintin. Here in an 18th C. farm the "Musée de la Vie paysanne" has been set up which, by means of furnishing and implements, brings the old rural existence to life.
Beyond Montquintin we reach Torgny, the most southern parish in Belgium. Around this pretty village vines are grown, the "Clos de la Zolette" which is a Riesling grape.
Latour, 7km/4.5miles east of Virton, commemorates its past in the Musée Ballet-Latour. The history of the local castle is documented; the battle on the border on August 22, 1914, as well as events in the First and Second World Wars are described. Several rooms contain everyday and folklore articles devoted to the culture of the Gaume.
Excursion to Montmédy
Across the French border a detour leads to Montmédy (14km/8.5mi from Virton) where can be seen the very well preserved fortification complex of Vauban.
Here at the local cemetery are buried 502 German and 518 French soldiers killed in WWI action.
A total of 1288 German and 2445 French soldiers killed in action (WWI) are buried here.
Town and Cemetery, Musson-Baranzy, Belgium
In this WWI cemetery are 511 German and 454 French soldiers killed in action.