Beginning south of Hasselt, the Haspengouw is an expanse of gently undulating land that fills out the southern part of the province of Limburg, its fertile soils especially suited to fruit growing. The area is at its prettiest during cherry-blossom time, but otherwise the scenery is really rather routine, a description that applies in equal measure to many of the Haspengouw’s towns and villages. The main exceptions are Tongeren, whose small-town charms and enjoyable range of historic monuments make it well worth a detour, and pocket-sized Zoutleeuw, whose splendid, pre-Reformation St-Leonarduskerk somehow managed to avoid the attentions of both the Protestants and the Napoleonic army.

 

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