The caves of Han-sur-Lesse, a beautiful natural wonder

When I went back to Belgium in December last year, I went to visit one of my favourite places in the South, the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse. 

I’ve visited a lot of caves in the UK and in Belgium (here and here for examples) and I still feel that this one is the most beautiful and intact one. I’ve been there there many times over the years and one thing does not change: it’s still the hundred-year-old tram that takes you to the entrance of the cave :-)

The caves are the result of the underground erosion of a limestone hill by the river Lesse that forces its way under the hill. It takes about 1h30 to visit all the chambers.

The Gallery of the Verviétois was very picturesque. There was a lot of stalactites and stalagmites, and the columns look so fragiles.

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In the Room of the minaret, you can see a 6-meter high stalagmite, and it’s very impressive

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A bit further away, there is this unusual Dome-shaped stalagmite. I was quite surprised to see something that wide. Usually, the stalagmites and quite lean :-)

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My favourite room is the one with the trophy, a 7 m hight stalagmite. If you look towards a certain directions, it’s sparkling a bit. It’s difficult to see it on the pictures because the light is very dim.

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Towards the exit, the last room, the Room of the draperies contains superb stalactites hanging above the river Lesse!

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A lot of people only visit the North of Belgium, for the picturesque Flemish towns: Bruges and Ghent and spend some times in Brussels. The South has a lot of nice places as well, maybe not as well known :-)

MummyTravels
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77 responses to “The caves of Han-sur-Lesse, a beautiful natural wonder

  1. What a wonderful grotto. There is one here in our Sierra and brings in lots of tourists and revenue for the town. It’s named maravillosa and is a marvellous source of income! You can’t take your own photos so enjoyed looking at yours. Very well captured for difficult light conditions.

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    • There are a few interesting hidden things in Belgium :-) But the North is really attracting most of the tourists and I don’t think these places are really advertised massively in tourist books :D

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  2. This looks amazing. I’ve only done caving once, in Canmore in Alberta. It was quite an experience. Seeing the stalagmites and stalactites and realising how long it has taken them to develop. Pretty awesome:)

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  3. Wow what amazing caves – such beautiful effects with the light! Have been doing quite a bit of family history research recently and it turns out that some of my ancestors appear to come from what is now southern Belgium (they were Walloons Protestant refugees) so I should read up about this part of the world – they would have been French speakers!

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    • Oh that is fascinating ! It must be nice to be able to find where you ancestors are coming from. One of my dad’s friend did it for our family because genealogy was his passion and it turned out that our family is from Germany, as far back as the XVII century. Sadly, it will die with the last generation as it is all girls :-)

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      • I find genealogy fascinating but it is very time consuming to do it properly! That’s so interesting to have your family traced back that far. Quite a few lines of our family have been researched – my mum’s mother’s family come from North Wales, my dad’s mainly from the South East but also Scotland. The London branch is the one I’m trying to work on – it’s my dad’s paternal grandmother’s line. It’s much trickier than country areas as people moved about so much more in the city than in the country. I think we have Huguenot ancestors in London too but I really need to get hold of more records to do further research…one day!

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          • I have bursts every year or so when I do quite a lot of research for 2 to 3 weeks then I give it a break as it can get a bit all consuming. Am making some headway into my London ancestors – they came from the real East End Stepney and Whitechapel and the Aldgate Spitalfields area! They also lived later in Soho and Marylebone! I have been to some of the places they lived at (original houses have long since gone) and will visit some more next time we’re over. It’s like being a detective and fortunately I studied history and learnt to read historical documents as you have to cross check everything or you can make some big mistakes and go off investigating a completely wrong line!

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  4. I’m ok in caves, but I don’t exactly feel comfortable in them. They are certainly beautiful enough, and I am glad that you have provided these photos so I don’t have to go underground to see them, Gin! :)

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  5. Ces grottes sont splendides :-)
    A quelques km de chez moi , on peut admirer les grottes de Vallorbe .
    Il y a 4 ou 5 ans , j’ai visité de belles grottes au Portugal mais ne me souviens pas de leurs noms :-(
    Et , dans un souvenir très lointain , je me souviens avoir visité les grottes de Porto Cristo sur l’île de Majorque. Tous ces endroits sont magiques :-)
    Bonne fin de soirée . Bises et merci pour le partage

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    • J’ai regardé les photos des grottes de Vallorbe et wow, c’est magnifique ! C’est un peu le meme style que les grottes de han j’ai l’impression !

      Ces endroits sont magiques, je suis bien d’accord avec toi. Tellement ancien. Bonne fin de semaine !

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  6. This is such an impressive set of photos ~ low light, and mostly just an incredible place/environment. I haven’t heard of the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse, so this not only was a great insight to such a world but now has me thinking when I can try to visit :-) Very cool.

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  7. I’m not sure what would frighten me more – the caves themselves or the 100-year-old tram that takes you there! Unlike Sue S. (or you, apparently), I am a bit claustrophobic, especially underground!

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    • Oh dear, you are one of them ?! :p It must be really bad to feel trapped. I can understand the feeling. I suppose you wouldn’t like diving either ? Trapped under the water, linked to a bottle to breathe.. must not sound appealing to you ? Or is it better because it’s in the water ?

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  8. Love the room of draperies! Caves are so fascinating to explore. A whole different world. Challenging for those who are claustrophobic but for someone like myself who loves small places it’s fabulous.

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      • Not an easy thing to do, hand hold a camera in such low light. Increasing the ISO if you can do that with your camera, can help of course as I’m sure you know but the results then are often so grainy that you might just as well try the way you have. The results look great on the blog just the same. :-)

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