Tuesday, September 08, 2015

MONS - Belgium

September 8, 2015

Mons is a Belgian city and municipality, and the capital of the province of Hainaut, and this year Mons had been elected the European Capital of Culture.

Although it is not far from Waterloo, where I live I have been to Mons only once. It was this year to see the Sunflower maze on the Grand' Place.

The Grand Place is the centre of the historic town.

The Town Hall, is located in the heart of the city, and was built between 1458 and 1477 in an accentuated Gothic style.

Just at the entrance is the symbol of the city, a little  statue of a monkey, which is said to bring luck to those who pet his head.

The Town hall

of course I petted the little monkey's head !

Going through the inner court of the city hall I arrived at a little park.

with the statue of a boy from Mons.

The shoe which was created for the sunflower maze was standing here now.

All around the Grand'Place are lots of restaurants !

For each taste there is one !

A little further we found the 87m tall Beffroi (belfry), erected in 1661. The belfry is the only Baroque-style bell tower in Belgium and was listed as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1999. Note the youth hostel at the foot of the belfry - probably the only one in the world !

The "Beffroi" (Belfry) and its entrance

The belfry has 365 steps, a height of 87 metres and contains 49 bells,

It has now become a museum. Besides the architecture, the panoramic views, the objects borrowed from local Mons residents' personal collections relating to the belfry and the museum panels, visitors' journeys through the belfry are enhanced by multimedia and new technologies.

Fortunately visitors can take a glass elevator up to the final stop – the panoramic level You can walk down but the steps are very narrow and it is not easy ! I took the elevator down, my friend walked and nearly fell !

At each window was a screen showing you the details of the buildings around.

The steps inside the tower 

The views over Mons.

A little outside Mons in the little community  Cuesmes  was the house where the painter van Gogh was a preacher for the protestant church of Belgium.

This is the house. He actually lived in a annexe but it doesn't exist anymore. We haven't been inside  for me there was not enough to see. Apparently there were copies of the letters he wrote to his brother and it is here too, that he definitively decided to become a painter. His head made out of plants which also had been at the sunflower maze was now sitting besides the visitor center.


Photo Cache said...

What a beautiful city.

Fun60 said...

It looks a charming place to visit and plenty to see. Those narrow winding steps up to the Belfry do seem dangerous. Great that they have installed a lift.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous place!

Anonymous said...

What a great place. I should make a comment on the town or the view, but instead I say, nice outfit Gattina, as you rub the head of the monkey.

Loree said...

What a pretty place! That belfry reminded me of when we walked up to the top of the Piazza del Campo in Siena. It was a bit scary getting up there but the view was worth it. I did not know that van Gogh used to be a preacher.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful colorful City, with or without sunflowers! Did not know that about Van Gogh!

Sandra Carlier said...

Just reading your post I remember our nice journey in Mons ! Luckely I came in Belgium and visited with you ! Now I am at school with my 28 children of 3 years old and less even some are still 2 ! The view from the belfry was marvelous ! And I remember still the good, sweet "gauffre" I ate after the visit ! Je pleure, je voudrais être encore en vacances !

Gracie said...

Always a pleasure to walk around with you...

Unknown said...

It's a gorgeous city! I love the view of the roofs from above.


About Me

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I love writing, traveling and photography. . I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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