Dinant in Belgium

Friday, 24 April 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© flickr.com - Andrew J.Kurbiko/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Andrew J.Kurbiko/cc-by-sa-2.0

Dinant is a Walloon city and municipality located on the River Meuse, in the Belgian province of Namur. It lies 90 kilometres (56 mi) south-east of Brussels, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south-east of Charleroi and 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Namur. Dinant is situated 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the border with France.

Dinant is positioned in the Upper Meuse valley, at a point where the river cuts deeply into the western Condroz plateau. Sited in a steep sided valley, between the rock face and the river. The original settlement had little space in which to grow away from the river, and it therefore expanded into a long, thin town, on a north-south axis, along the river shore. During the 19th century, the former Île des Batteurs (“Drummers’ Island”) to the south was attached directly to the town when a branch of the river was filled in.

© Graham Richter/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Andrew J.Kurbiko/cc-by-sa-2.0 © desiderata12/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0 Saxophones © flickr.com - Dennis Jarvis/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Saxophones © flickr.com - Dennis Jarvis/cc-by-sa-2.0
Dinant has been enriched by the agricultural opportunities presented by the fertile land on the plateau that overlooks it. Within the town, brassware production is a traditional craft that has benefited from the presence of the broad and, at this point, easily navigable river which has facilitated easy delivery of the raw materials and ready distribution of the resulting products of the artisans’ workshops. Another traditional source of wealth is provided by the limestone cliffs overlooking the town, which supported a high-end quarrying industry, producing black marble and bluestone, and whose distribution also benefitted from the proximity of the relatively wide and deep navigable river. Among the sights are:

  • The city’s landmark is the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant. It was rebuilt in Gothic style on its old foundations after falling rocks from the adjacent cliff partially destroyed the former Romanesque style church in 1227. Several stages for a pair of towers on the west end were completed before the project was abandoned in favour of the present central tower with a famous onion dome and facetted multi-staged lantern.
  • Above the church rises the vertical flank of the rocher surmounted by the fortified Citadel of Dinant that was first built in the 11th century to control the Meuse valley. The Prince-Bishops of Liège rebuilt and enlarged it in 1530; the French destroyed it in 1703. Its present aspect, with the rock-hewn stairs (408 steps), is due to rebuilding in 1821, during the United Kingdom of the Netherlands phase of Dinant’s chequered history. A cable car is available during the high season to take visitors from the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame to the top of the Citadel.
  • Apart from the main block is the Rocher Bayard that was said to have been split by giant hoof of Bayard, the giant horse carrying the four sons of Duke Aymon on their legendary flight from Charlemagne through the Ardennes, told in Les Quatre Fils Aymon, a famous 12th-century chanson de geste. In reality the rock has been divided by the soldiers of Louis XIV after the conquest of Dinant in order to construct a road alongside the river Meuse.
  • The house of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone located in the street of the same name. A little museum, the Mr Sax’s House, pays attention to his life and saxophones.

Read more on Dinant, Wikivoyage Dinant and Wikipedia Dinant (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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