Cambron-Casteau is a French-speaking village located in the Hainaut province of Belgium, mid-way between Brussels and Lille. Its most notable attraction, drawing over 1.7 million visitors per year, is animal park Pairi Daiza.
Cambron-Casteau has a history dating back to the 12th century, when a Cistercian abbey was founded, and a town quickly grew around it. The name comes from the Celtic cambrone, meaning curve, and castellum meaning fortified place. The 18th century abbey tower with crypt, the staircase towards the river, and the 19th century castle remain today and can be visited.
The 1 Cambron-Casteau railway station is the easiest way in an out of town. There is an hourly train connecting Cambron-Casteau to Ath in the north and Jurbise in the south. From Jurbise, the Brussels Airport Express connects directly to Brussels Airport BRU IATA, and the major train stations in Brussels, which can be reached in about 50 minutes.
With a motorized vehicle, Cambron-Casteau can be reached over the N56 between Ath and Jurbise. A large 2 parking lot is available for parking near the entrance of Pairi Daiza.
The nearby 3 Chièvres airfield is for military use only, and closed to civilian aircraft.
Cambron-Casteau can be easily explored by foot since the distances between tourist attractions are small. Locals frown upon motorized vehicles, which disturb the peaceful quietness of the town. Visiting Pairi Daiza requires considerable walking, so adequate walking shoes are highly recommended.
A 1 walking trail leads travelers with a shortcut from the railway station to Pairi Daiza entrance.
The most important attraction of Cambron-Casteau is the Pairi Daiza park.
- 1 Pairi Daiza (Walled Garden), Domaine de Cambron (follow the signs from Cambron-Casteau station), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-18:00. A large animal park and botanical garden located in the domain of the former Cistercian Cambron Abbey. It is home to over 4,000 animals, and member of several European membership programs for the preservation of endangered species. They are famous for their giant pandas, Indian elephants, hippopotamuses, and a large herd of American bisons. A visit to Pairzi Daiza is worth an entire day on its own. If possible, buy tickets in advance on their website, which are cheaper and let you skip the line at the entrance. For the protection of the rhinos, strict security measures are in place and all visitors will be required to pass through a metal detector and have their bags checked. There are no amenities to deposit items like pocket knives in storage at the entrance, so be prepared for a hefty discussion with security and possible denial of entrance if such items are found in your bag. €34.
- 4 Cisterician Cambron Abbey (Abbaye). Ruins of the former abbey church, now only the belfry tower remains. The basement houses numerous species of bats, and is accessible to visitors.
- 7 [dead link] St. Vincent Church (Eglise Saint-Vincent), Place de Keyzer, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A church in baroque style, constructed in the local gray limestone.
- 1 Steam Train (Train à vapeur). A narrow gauge steam train traversing the Pairi Daiza park, offering a unique view of the area. €2.
- 1 Miel Cambron, Rue du Berceau 29. Organic honey produced by local bee keepers.
- 1 Au retour de l'Ange, Brugelette. Check-in: after 17:00. A guest house with private room and double bed and private bathroom. Not suitable for families with young kids. €70.
A 1 postal box can be found on the Place de Keyzer, across of the church.