Why a Modern Grand Tour?

In the 17th and especially the 18th century, the Grand Tour developed into an indispensable part of education. The idea was that when a young men returned from a long stay outside his own country, his mind would be enlightened by an introduction to the highlights of the history and the modern culture. His baggage would be bulging with local purchases and his knowledge would be refined. After the Grand Tour he was ready to take his place in the world and start a working life.

At the dawn of the 19th century, the notion that a journey to the sources of Western civilization in Europe should not be lacking in proper education had spread over a much broader social spectrum: it now applied not only to men but also to women.

This Modern Grand Tour of the 21th century likes to be nothing more than a further broadening of the idea that direct contact with history and culture is essential to give a person’s character the finishing touch.

Why a trail in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion?

Inhabitants of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion live the “European idea” as they benefit from all advantages by living, working and shopping in different countries.
The open borders create opportunities for the regional population as well as institutions and services. This leads to new partnerships, the exchange of knowledge and best-practices.

Today the inhabitants on both sides of the borders live and work in good relation with the neighbors, in a way that it appears as if the borders are just a line on the map, which has lost here meaning in everyday life.

The Eifel, the Ardennes and the Meuse-Rhine valley are rich in history, natural beauty and panoramas.

Maastricht, Liège and Aix-La-Chapelle belong to the monumental cities of Europe, but are barely visited. Although if you walk here you sometimes get the feeling as if you are in regions of Italy and France.

The need for European integration is nowhere better understood than in this Meuse-Rhine Euregion, because it is precisely here that the Romanesque and Germanic people and languages meet. If this dividing line is accentuated by boundary barriers, tensions and extreme contrasts can arise.
Many inhabitants in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion have understood that if these boundary barriers would completely disappear, that they have much in common and a lot can be learned from each other.

At the end much more can be achieved through cooperation than alone. The Meuse-Rhine Euregion is the successful proof of European integration.
They are the heart of Charlemagne’s ancient empire, which originated in the same desire.

More about the Meuse-Rhine Euregion

The Meuse-Rhine Euregion represents the essence of Europe. It covers the territories:
– the Region Zuid-Limburg, Netherlands
– the Province of Limburg, Belgium
– the Province of Liège, Belgium
– the German speaking Community, Belgium
– the Region Aachen Zweckverband, Germany
It covers a geographical area of approximately 11 000 km2 around the cities of Maastricht, Hasselt, Liège, Eupen and Aix-La-Chapelle. The regions share a partly common history (for example in relation to mining) .

This is the place where you shop for groceries in Aachen (Germany) when you live in Vaals (Netherlands) or in Kelmis (Belgium). Somewhere you can enjoy a family breakfast at the kitchen table in the Selfkant (Germany), bring your children to school in Maastricht (Netherlands)and go on to work in Sittard (Netherlands) then visit a concert in Liège (Belgium) in the evening.
It is the only place where you can wander through antiques markets early sunday morning in Tongeren (Belgium), have some
exquisite Belgian French fried (or mussels) from a typical “Frituur” for lunch, and have an afternoon stroll through the countryside next to your home near the limestone caves of Maastricht (Netherlands).