The Vecquée is one of the oldest Roman roads in the region of the High Fens and was first mentioned in 1569. The road runs from the cross Wathy South of Bronromme, via Berinzenne, Malchamps, Baronheid and passes Hockai. Here another road takes off to the east, called “Voie du Fer”. Another alternate runs via the bridge Centenaire accross the Hoëgne towards Baraque Michel. The Vecquée runs along the boundary of the municipality. Along the Vecquée two boundary markers, numbered  148 and 151, demarcate the border between what was once Prussia and Belgium.

Along the Vecquée one finds also the cross of the “Fiancés”. It is without a doubt the most famous cross in the High Fens. Follow the Vecquée direction Baraque Michel, Hockai boundary stone 151. (B P Belgium and Prussia).

This cross was placed on Sunday 20th September 1931 in memory of a young couple, François Reiff and Marie Xhoffray, who lost their lives in a blizzard on January 22nd, 1871. The current cross replaces the original one that was firtst placed there in 1906. François Reiff of Bastogne worked on the construction of Gileppe dam and was engaged to Marie Xhoffray, maid on the farm Niezette (near the village of Limbourg). They left the village of Jalhay on Sunday January 22nd, 1871 to get supplies for their intended marriage. Despite warnings of an approaching winter storm, they attempted to cross the High Fens. They were surprised by a snow storm that covered the marsh with a thick layer of snow and lost their way. Two months later, after the snow melted a Prussian custom officer found the body of Marie at boundary stone 151. François had put a note in her coat with the words: Marie has passed away and I will follow soon. Francois’ body was found near Solwaster, two kilometers from Marie’s mortal remains. Hike 58, available at the tourist information Jalhay-Sart leads from the village of Solwaster to the Vecquée.



Contact details

The Vecquée and the Cross of the Fiancés

  • Unnamed Road, Jalhay, Belgique