The Moulin de Rensiwez means the windmill at the ford or crossing of the reindeer. One section of this route, known as “pavés du diable” is the remains of a branch of a pathway built by Roman legionnaires. Legend has it that a carter got stuck, and so promised his soul to the devil if he could have a paved road under his wheels, and the road suddenly appeared. Nestled in a beautiful setting intercepted by the Ourthe, the ancient Moulin de Rensiwez enjoys a beautifully peaceful location.
Traditionally, the Ardennes are not known for stories about fairies. The regional mind was more occupied with the devil, werewolves and witchcraft in general.
However, the Moulin de Rensiwez has been built in an area which, according to local folklore, used to be visited by witches and fairies.
When you leave Rensiwez for Houffalize, near the top of the hill you will see a sign pointing left towards the ‘Valley of the Fairies’ (Vallée des fees). In this valley, with the river Martin Moulin, lived the fairies.
People were not afraid to talk about them, as fairies are gracious and well-meaning, but one did not see them often. It was said they were born in the river mist, where the rock of Mourdehan tumbles towards the Ourthe.
The old Mill of Rensiwez, in a green basin valley below the meeting of the rivers Ourthe and Martin Moulin, is surrounded by vast forests where in the past the last wolves of the Ardennes roamed. At a place hidden from general view, according to the legend, fairies and witches held their sabbaths. These reunions were party places presided over by the pagan god Nutto himself. The sabbath sites were dreaded by the superstitious and the gullible.