A Handbook of Northern France

By William Marris Davis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
REGIONS NORTH AND NORTHEAST OF FRANCE

64. The Ardennes and Beyond. The uplands and highlands of southeastern Belgium, with small adjoining areas of France and Luxembourg and a larger area of western Germany, are known in their higher part as the Ardennes (see map, p. 153). Their total area roughly resembles a half-moon, measuring 180 k. east-northeastward along the diametral side, which is followed for much of its length by the Sambre-Meuse valley, and 80 k. across (southward) to the convex margin; the greater altitudes are from 400 to 580 m. If this region is approached from the south, between the Meuse and the Luxembourg frontier, ascent is soon made from the overlapping strata of the sixth upland belt of northeastern', France, as described in section 35, to the highland of the Ardennes proper; on the west, where the ascent is more gradual, the lower slope is overlapped by the northern extension of the chalk uplands of northern France, as described in section 46.

The gradual northwestward descent of the Ardennes to the Sambre-Meuse valley is continued beyond it by the uplands of central Belgium; and these slope down to the lowlands of the coast and of the estuarine district of Holland. The northeastern part of the highland area declines through uplands to the lowlands of the Rhine west of Cologne. To the east, the Ardennes are adjoined by the Eifel highlands of western Germany; farther south the Ardennes are separated from the Hunsrück section of the Slate-mountain highlands (Schie-

-151-

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