The Wicker Bridge in the Town of Lafore in Belgium - Kelionės su vaikais
The Wicker Bridge in the Town of Lafore in Belgium

The Wicker Bridge in the Town of Lafore in Belgium

Online magazine of Lithuanian children living in Brussels – Maklinėtojai – continues to share his travel experiences.

In this blog, we share a very interesting place visited by Maklinėtojai – the wicker bridge in the town of Laforė in Belgium across the river Semua.

You have probably seen a variety of wicker objects: a wicker basket, which we can simply call a basket, a wicker chair back, perhaps a wicker bread basket, a fruit basket, a wicker basket for onions or hair, perhaps your grandparents still have a wicker shoe somewhere, called a basket, and a few others. Braided items are on the list as well. Most of the time, we weave wicks cut from sedge or sedge, less often from sedge or other sedge plants.

But have you ever seen a wicker bridge? Linas and Mantas saw and tested their strength. Yes, we are not lying! The wicker bridge in the town of Lafore in Belgium over the river Semua is woven every year from fairly thick wicker or reeds. It’s true, not the thorn trees, but the thicker and stronger ones – hazel, which are used to wrap the birch stakes, and that are stuck in the water.

This bridge is the only legacy of the old Belgian braided bridges. You can reach it after walking 400 m towards Semua (French: Semois) river from the center of the town of Laforêt (French: Laforêt.) Such bridges were usually built very quickly. Nagini villagers knew how to weave it in such a way that it could withstand even the animals that were being pruned or dragged. Of course, the main purpose of such wicker bridges was to harvest crops on the other side and transport them back.

75 such braided panels are needed to build an 80-meter-long bridge. Lafore’s “pintatiltis” is 80 meters long. It is built in June and picked in the fall, usually in October (depending on the water level). It is built by 5 people who take one day to build the bridge. Hazel canes can withstand two years, so in autumn they are postponed until the next construction. Previously, there were about 10-12 such bridges on the Semua River, but in the 20th century. Little by little, their construction gradually disappeared, until this only bridge of the town of Lafore was built.

If you visit the beautiful towns of Vresse and Lafore, be sure to test the strength of this bridge for yourself!

Wanderers wandered in Belgium and visited more interesting places which we invite you to explore: Trolls near Brussels, and the Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium.

This article is author’s work and was prepared by “Travelling with Children ®”. Copying and using without the permission of the author or “Travelling with Children ®” is strictly prohibited.
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