“We are at Champ Pagnon! Yes, okay, but what the heck is that?” Champ Pagnon is a key venue for organising your stay in Quaregnon. A tourist information office, it supports and guides you in your visits while giving the municipality a positive and dynamic image. Discovery...
A history of twinningTo understand the meaning of the name Champ Pagnon, let’s dive into the history of the town, specifically its twinning programmes. The oldest one was signed in 1968 with the French municipality of Condé-sur-L’escaut to illustrate the history of the two towns which have close ties to the coal industry and river traffic. The second twinning is of particular interest to us. It concerns Aÿ-Champagne, a small French town in the Marne department 220km from Quaregnon. Signed in 1989, the partnership between the two towns has shed light on their organisations and administrative services for over 25 years. However, there is also sharing from a tourist point of view. Each year, inhabitants meet for visits organised to share their products. In this regard, one of the specialties of Aÿ (pronounced ah-ee), is Champagne. On the Borinage side, the local specialty is pagnon, a delicious sugar pie you can taste in any self-respecting bakery. The friendship made between the two municipalities naturally found a new dimension with the establishment of Champ Pagnon, bringing the two culinary jewels together. The last twinning dates to 1996, signed with the small Sicilian village of Assoro. Once again it reinforced the municipality’s tradition of openness and also marked the tribute paid to the strong Italian community in Quaregnon.
This is the primary function of Champ Pagnon. To help you in your efforts, a friendly, dynamic team is there to welcome you every day of the week. Real enthusiasts committed to promoting their municipality, they offer a warm welcome and advice to each visitor. Various documents are at your disposal. These promote green tourism which goes against received ideas regarding the municipality’s history with coal. But beware, this desire to get off the “beaten track” always involves respect for the past and local history. The programme includes seven circuits of guided walks to discover slagheaps, footpaths and surrounding villages. A walk with a QR code even lets you listen to local anecdotes about the places visited. If you like, you can also discover Quaregnon with true ambassadors who all love their territory and welcoming people to it. After meeting them, the town hall and the paintings of the great Belgian painter and Illustrator Fernand Allard will hold no more secrets from you. Before leaving, don’t forget to take away a small souvenir by purchasing some Aÿ champagne at cost price; drink with moderation, of course.
Good to know
Every year in November, the champagne festival of Aÿ’s regional producers is organised in Quaregnon to support business twinning with Aÿ-Champagne. It’s a wonderful opportunity to make discoveries, do tasting and prepare end-of-year celebrations.
Champ Pagnon, Grand Place 7 à Quaregnon, tel: 065/468 661