As far back as the Middle Ages, the monks of Waulsort Abbey used a waterway just downstream from the present one, opposite the old abbey. At the beginning of the 19th century, from the French border to Namur, there were around ten of them. The one at Waulsort is the last one in operation on the Meuse.
From 1871, following the construction of the railway line linking Dinant to Givet on the left bank (opened in 1863), the water crossing enabled the residents of Falmagne and Falmignoul to reach the opposite bank to catch the train to Dinant. It operated in both summer (using an undersea cable) and winter (using an overhead cable). It is therefore part of the heritage of the people of Waulsort.
The boat used by our ancestors was the nacelle (a term dating from the 13th century). It was made of wood, 12 to 13 m long, 1.50 m wide and 0.70 m deep. Both ends were raised, making it easier to embark and disembark both people and goods. This large boat was handled using a gaff or “râble”, a pole with a plank at the end. Nowadays, the ferry has replaced the gondola, and the tool used by the waterman is called the “planer” or “shoe”.
Watch the film about the waterman, made by “Matélé” (Anne Pirson and Philippe Palamin)
Infos : Mr John Noseda (Port de Waulsort) Tél: 0476/33.14.81
Timetable for 2023 :
Open from 1/4/2023 to 16/04/2023: daily from 10am to 6pm + Friday-Saturday-Sunday from 10am to 7pm
From 17/04/2023 to 30/04/2023 only Saturday Sunday from 10 to 18h
From 01/05/2023 to 14/05/2023: daily from 10am to 6pm, Friday-Saturday-Sunday from 10am to 7pm
From 15/05/2023 to 30/06/2023: daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From 1/07/2023 to 31/08/2023: daily from 10am to 6pm, Friday-Saturday-Sunday from 10am to 7pm
From 01/09/2023 to 01/10/2023: daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From 02/10/2023 to 19/10/2023: Saturdays and Sundays only, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From 23/10/2023 to 05/11/2023: daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
When the river is not open, you can cross it on foot or by bike via the Waulsort dam, 500m upstream.