IEW2022 – City of Mons

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Mons, the administrative centre of the Hainaut province, is located in a dynamic region situated at the heart of Europe, between Amsterdam and Paris on the one hand and Cologne and London on the other.

Its particularly rich and varied heritage contains 4 cultural masterpieces of humanity recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

The Belfry in Mons, which was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1999, was built between 1661 and 1672 by Louis Ledoux and Vincent Anthony. While being the only baroque Belfry in Belgium as well as having recognition from UNESCO, it possesses a 49-bell carillon. This symbol, overlooking Mons, offers a splendid view of the rooftops of the city and of the former heaps which trace back to its mining history.

The Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes was listed among the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2000 and is one of the oldest and largest flint extraction sites in Europe. Located 6 km from Mons, this archaeological site covers 100 hectares. You will be able to discover the inventions and pruning techniques developed 6000 years ago by man, which today mark a major step in the cultural and technological development of mankind.

The traditional festival in Mons, known as the ‘Doudou’, was recognised in 2005 by UNESCO. The ‘Doudou’, which comprised a Procession, the ascent of the Golden Chariot, and the fight, known as the ‘Lumeçon’, is a lively tradition celebrating St Waudru, the founder of the city and St George’s battle against the Dragon, the symbol of evil.

Grand-Hornu, listed in 2012 by UNESCO as World Heritage of Humanity, is an example of the idealistic architecture characterizing the beginning of the European industrial era. As a symbol of its industrial past, the Grand-Hornu was a former mining complex which included the wells and housing of miners, and all administrative institutions necessary for the running of a community. Today it is a Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC’s), in the French-speaking Community of Belgium.

Mons and its surrounding area is also replete with a number of museums and impressive sites such as the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru, the Town Hall, the Mayor’s Garden, the Fine Arts Museum (BAM), the PASS (Park of Scientific Adventures).

In the evening, Mons comes alive with its many bistros and quality restaurants ready to ravish the finest of palates and invite you to discover Belgian cuisine. The warm atmosphere of the bars and cafes in Mons will bring the perfect end to your sensational day.

Source : Site de la ville de Mons. © Ville de Mons