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The natural regions of Belgium

Famenne is a natural region in southern Belgium. Together with The Fagne or la Fagne, west of the river Meuse, it is part of the Fagne-Famenne natural region. The two regions are often grouped together because they are quite similar both geographically and naturally.


Famenne comes from the word famine (the same in French), implying a relatively poor area.

Alternative etymology: From Peremani, a Germanic tribe


Natural geography

Famenne is mostly in the provinces of Namur and Luxembourg in Wallonia in southern Belgium. Its northeastern tip extends into the province of Liège. It is bounded on the west by the river Meuse, west of which lies Fagne, similar to Famenne both geographically and naturally.[1] To the north of both lies the Condroz natural region. Famenne is at the western edge of the Ardennes mountain range.

Famenne is traversed by the Calestienne, a band of limestone resulting in calcium-rich soil and a corresponding concentration of calcicole plants. The rivers Lesse and Lomme cross the Calestienne, forming substantial cave systems. The caves of Han-sur-Lesse, the caves of Hotton and Rochefort's Lorette cave are the most notable examples.

Human geography

The most important city and unofficial capital of Famenne is Marche-en-Famenne. Other towns include Beauraing, Rochefort, Hotton and Durbuy.


The agriculture and forestry sectors are the main sources of employment in the region, although tourism also plays an important role.


  1. Fagne." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 9 August 2010.

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