Vise Tourist Attractions
Close to the Belgian-Dutch border on the right bank of the Meuse the town of Visé is the most northerly city in Wallonia. It is popular in summer for the water sports center in the "three countries corner".Visé grew up around a wooden bridge over the Meuse and had its flowering between the ninth and the 13th C. In 1330 the town was fortified and subsequently had to defend itself in many sieges, including those against the troops of Charles the Bold in 1468 and Louis XIV in 1663. In the first days of the First World War Visé was set on fire by German troops and almost completely destroyed.
Carnival of the Geese
Visé is rich in folklore. Here is celebrated the "Carnival of the Geese" commemorating the legend of 1334, when the geese of Visé on their search for food made it possible for the besiegers to enter the town: the geese simply chewed up the bolts of the gates.
The three shooting guilds of the town are of great importance: the "Gilde des Anciens Arbalétriers" (Old Cross-bow Shooters Guild), founded in 1310, its successor the "Compagnie Royale des Anciens Arquebusiers" (Royal Company of Arquebusiers) dating from 1579 and the "Compagnie Royale des Francs Arquebusiers" (Royal Company of Free Arquebusiers) which came into being in 1909. Each of these guilds has a festival twice a year.
Collégiale Saints Martin et Hadelin
The collegiate church of Saints-Martin-et-Hadelin was founded by Berta the daughter of Charles the Great in 780. The church was destroyed by German troops and rebuilt from 1925; of the earlier work only the choir (1500) remains. However a visit to the church is well worth while because of its unique art treasures.
Shrine of Saint Hadelinus
The shrine of Saint Hadelinus, which contains the remains of the priest who preached by the Meuse in the 17th C., is the finest reliquary shrine in the Mosan area. Its gabled ends probably date from the 10th C.; one shows Christ crowning saints Remaclus and Hadelinus, the other an exceptionally rare representation of Christ as the vanquisher of death and the devil. On the sides, which date from 1150, are scenes from the life of Hadelinus and in their execution these are reminiscent of works by Renier de Huy. On the third Sunday in September the shrine is borne in procession through the town.
The present town hall is a reconstruction of the building which dated from the 17th C. in Mosan-Renaissance style. It has a notable onion-shaped tower.
The three shooting guilds maintain their own museums which are sometimes open on Sunday mornings in summer and which exhibit weapons and documents about the history of their guilds.The museum of the Cross-bow Shooter's Guild is at No. 44 Rue Haute, that of the Old Arquebusiers at No. 11 and the museum of the Free Arquebusiers at No. 3 Rue Dodémont.
Just 9km/5.5miles northwest of Visé lies Eben-Emael where the fort was completely destroyed by German troops in May 1940.