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The Ardennes is a forested region that stretches across France, Belgium and Luxembourg. It lends its name to the Champagne- Ardennes region of France and the Ardennes department. The name is derived from a vast forest that existed in the area during the Roman era, Arduenna Silva. The modern day Ardennes covers a much smaller area than the original forest. The region was successfully used by the German army in both World Wars as a quick route into France.
Much of the Ardennes is covered by dense forest, and the area is relatively sparsely populated. The area’s most populated cities are Verviers in Belgium, Charleville-Mezieres in France. Both these cities exceed 50,000 residents, but most other towns in the area do not have more than 10,000 residents, although there are some exceptions such as Bastogne .