Mons, French-speaking city in Belgium, is full of stories that reveal themselves like an open book at every street corner. This student city is known for its monuments, its museums and its historical heritage. Follow us through this stroll in the center of Mons to discover the main activities of the city.
Grand-Place of Mons
We start our walk in the center of Mons with its Grand-Place. On this central square you can find the City Hall as well as many shops nearby. It is located in the heart of Mons which makes it a very dynamic place. It is on this square that the most awaited event of the year by the inhabitants of Mons takes place: the Doudou. Every year during the weekend of the Trinity, this local festival gathers tourists and locals, for the fight known as Lumeçon, confronting Saint George on one side facing the Dragon on the other.
A vaulted passage at the back of the Town Hall leads directly to a small secret garden. Very quiet with greenery, statues and a few benches, this garden allows visitors to enjoy the square in peace. It was laid out in the 1930s and houses the sculpture of the Ropieur by the artist Gobert, a rather joking Montois kid who splashes the water of his fountain on passers-by.
This tower symbol of the city of Mons is used as an important landmark in the landscape. It was built between 1661 and 1669 in a baroque style and dominated the hill even then. In the past, the belfry was used as a watchtower to warn the inhabitants in case of invasion. The 87 meter high stone tower is divided into three levels, accessible by 365 steps and contains a clock and a carillon with 49 bells that still work today. Since 1999, the Belfry of Mons has been recognized by UNESCO.
To visit the Belfry tower : http://bit.ly/3lZvrOu
Obligatory stop at the Saint-Germain Square which allows us to have a beautiful sight of the Collegiate church Sainte-Waudru as well as the Belfry. It's time to take out your cameras!
Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru
This beautiful catholic religious building in Brabantine Gothic style is dedicated to Sainte Waudru, the patron saint of the city of Mons. Started in 1450, the works stopped in 1691, without the church ever being completed. With a Latin cross plan and 29 chapels around the main nave, the building forms a unique ensemble recognized as an exceptional heritage of Wallonia. The Collegiate Church is as beautiful from the inside as from the outside. For those who wish to visit it, access is free all year round from 9am to 6pm.
Before going to the next place on our list, don't hesitate to stop for 5 minutes at Franklin Roosevelt Square to see David Mesguich's sculpture called "Lucie et les papillons". It is more than 7 meters high, is composed of almost 2000 stainless steel facets, weighs two tons and is exhibited as part of the project “L'art habite la ville '' aiming at exporting culture outside museums. From this square you can also see the Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru right next to the Belfry, which is a great place to get a good shot! Finally, on the other side of the Square, you can see our next stop...
Artothèque - Little Monkey
This museum of the city currently collects the monkey of the Grand-Garde, emblem of Mons for the tourists and lucky charm for all those who touch its head with the left hand according to the tradition. It is only 29 cm high and weighs about 38 kilograms and is usually located on the City hall. This monkey has a rather peculiar history, we don't know exactly when it was created or what its original purpose was. Historians estimate it to be nearly 700 years old and have several theories as to its original function, theories that you can read in the space reserved for the little monkey in the Art Library. This museum also houses other collections and exhibitions to discover all year long!
To book your tickets, go to their website :http://bit.ly/3YUalzG
Street of Fripiers
We finish our stroll of the city center of Mons by passing by the street of Fripiers which is covered with multicolored paving stones. A way to attract the curious, but also a symbol of life for the small street of Mons. A street not to be missed to take beautiful photographs and to finish this circuit in beauty!
Van Gogh House
Last stop for those who want to get off the beaten track and get away from the center of Mons. To prolong the walk, we propose to you a second museum, the Van Gogh House. The famous painter lived in this house from December 1878 to October 1880 and took his first steps as a self-taught artist. The house is now a small museum in memory of the impressionist artist, where you can discover some reproductions of his works made during his stay in Belgium.
To book your tickets, go to their website : http://bit.ly/3y54RX6
The walk around the center of Mons is rich in discoveries. As you may have noticed, the city is well-endowed with numerous squares and green spaces, but also with historical monuments, which makes it a must for all those who visit the region! Last little advice, look up during your visit, Mons is also home to many murals. You'll be amazed and you'll feel like an open-air museum.
See you soon for a new article!
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