Many villages in Belgium were destroyed during the Battle of the Ardennes in 1944. But Celles miraculously survived.
The German tanks had reached the edge of the village when the American army finally arrived and forced them to retreat. A Panzer tank now stands as a rusting monument at the crossroads where the attack was halted.
Saved from destruction, this village of old stone houses is now listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Wallonia. Its houses are clustered around an ancient fortified church dedicated to the local saint Hadelin. He is believed to have lived here in a cella, or cell, which gives the village its name.
The village is a good starting point for walks. But people also come here to eat a traditional Belgian lunch in one of the restaurants near the church.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.