The fine city of Namur
Namur Travel Blog› entry 51 of 354 › view all entries
When I started my trip in Belgium today I had actually no goal. I just wanted to get out of a rainy Brussels, and I had an idea that I should go south. One of my friends always drives around in the area of Namur, and he had told me about the beauty of the region. The way down there was very rainy and for the first time in a long time I was driving slowly just enjoying the music on the radio.
On my way south I decided that I wanted to follow the Meuse as long as I found it funny considering that I also had to go back the same day. I had heard about the town of Dinant but I really didnt know what expect of this ride.
Namur is a nice city - no doubt about it. All these cities that have connection to a river has always a lot of history, and this will often make them interesting. Rivers were the old highways and along with them came trade and wealth, the church, armys, fortresses and so on. Later it became tourism, or similar relaxation which again gave us the cafés, bars and restaurants – and finally we have alle the ingrideents that we need to make an interesting stay.
Namur is the capital of Namur province as well as the political capital of Wallonia (the French-speaking Southern part of Belgium). The city has a population of 105,000. Namur is located at the confluence of the Sambre River and the Meuse River ( both major waterways), and thus has had a military significance in centuries past that guaranteed continual assault, from Roman times through the second World War.
As a result of having been leveled time and again, the antiquities in Namur are relatively sparse. Nevertheless, the city is large and important enough to offer the visitor a wealth of diversions. One of the most awesome buildings in Namur is St. Alban's Cathedral. (Cathédrale Saint Aubin) Built between 1751 and 1767 it shows it Italian influence.
The Meat Hall is one of the most impressive monuments of Namur. It is located on the banks of the Sambre and is one of the most important archeological museums of Wallonia. This building was constructed between 1588 and 1590 and is made from brick and blue stones. The old St. James tower built in 1385 is Namurs only belfry tower. Located on the 'Place des Armes', it watches over the city and was used during its time as a lookout for the city.
By far the greatest monument of Namur is the Citadel. The Citadel served as a strategic bastion, attracting many attacks and numerous reconstructions during its history. Today the Citadel is accessible by a winding road or by cable-car. The Citadel is open daily and offers visitors a look at its wonderful past and its importants throughout history. Because of its strategic location it has been the center point of many battles over its long history. Today Namur has gained considerably in importance. The city is now the political capital of Wallonia. Here is the seat of the Walloon government.