"Popinjay" or "popingo" or "Pole archery" is a shooting sport, which is still performed in the tower located next
to the ancient paper mill of Genval (Rixensart).
The archery museum of Rixensart opened in 2003 in the annexes of the tower. This tower shelters 2 popinjay masts which are the last indoor poles still in use in Wallonia.
The tower was built in 1928, initially probably by a private investor in order to allow pole archery trainings and tournaments in winter. The building belonged later to Genval paper mills (paper - wallpaper and "balatum") and, when the company became bankrupt, the tower was bought by the town council. The pole archery tower is still used every winter to organize vertical popinjay tournaments. The aim of the competition is to knock artificial birds off the perches, with arrows tipped with rubber blunts which are 28 mm in diameter. These birds are set on the top cross piece of a 27.5 m high mast.
The tower was deeply renovated in 1998 on city of Rixensart initiative and with the finnancial help of the regional walloon governement. It's today a classified monument.
It is possible to test the pole vertical archery, during the opening hours of the museum (equipment free)
Adress of the tower and the museum (entrance by the side of the building)
Rue Auguste Lannoye, 32
B- 1332 Genval (Rixensart)