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The Ardennes is still a relatively undiscovered area of northern France, though its valleys and forests which border the river Meuse make it popular with walkers and nature enthusiasts. The many lakes in the region also mean it is an ideal destination for fishing and watersports. Charleville-Mezières is the main town, originally two towns joined by a bridge over the river Meuse, with the Premiere Classe Charleville-Mezieres only a few minutes from the town centre.
Although now an area of tranquillity, the region’s history is much more turbulent than meets the eye. Its strategic location meant it played a significant role in many wars, particularly World War II when it was annexed to Germany. Evidence of its military past can be seen in the several fortresses and fortified churches across the region. Sedan, a commune in the east, has been involved in many conflicts, most famously in 1870 when Napoleon III lost the Franco-Prussian war.