Namur Go Slow
The symbol of Namur is the snail. Take it easy in medieval Namur’s cosy squares and gracious streets lined with mansions, chic shops and cafés. Glide by on the rivers Sambre and Meuse passing the striking Namur fortress, one of Europe’s largest. Spice it up with a trip to the seductive Felicien Rops art museum. See the light that inspired Turner to paint settle on the rivers, and in the valleys leading deep into the Ardennes.
Vital statistics :
Best for: Romantic strolls from the Citadel and along the River Meuse, shopping without the crowds and eating a three-course chocolate meal at Galler Chocolat-Thé.
Flavour: Fresh fish from the vibrant food market, Ardennes game pâté with onion jam or strawberry jelly, les petits gris (Belgian snails) in a creamy garlic sauce and Namur caramel – le Biétrumé.
Status: Capital of Wallonia and gateway to the Ardennes.
Founded: Pre-Roman times
Glory days: Roman settlement (3rd & 4th centuries); seat of the counts of Namur from 908; Spanish military power and religious centre (16th-17th centuries); military stronghold 17th-20th centuries.
Location: Where the River Meuse and River Sambre meet, 40 miles southeast of Brussels. Connections: 2 hours’ drive from Calais and 50 minutes by train from Brussels.
Locals: 110,000 Namurois, also known as Chwès.
Find your feet: it’s hard to get lost in Namur with the great hulk of the Citadel perched on a rocky outcrop to guide you. Today, you can descend deep into the labyrinthine tunnels (or termite’s nest, as Napoleon called them) which extend for miles or stroll along the ramparts through 2000 years of history from Romans to Vauban. More landmarks include the impressive 16th century Halle al’chair (Meat Hall), on the bank of the River Sambre, made of brick and blue stone, the 14th century St James belfry tower, on the Place d’Armes, and the richly Italianate, 18th century St Alban’s Cathedral.
Across the River Sambre from the Citadel, head for the Rue de Fer and Rue de l’Ange if you have the shopping itch.
More info :
A video made by the local TV Canal C with great views of the city and images of the people who work here to make Namur such a beautiful city !
Some websites :