Mons – Grand Place
Mons unfolds around a nice and wide square, dominated by City Hall, but very harmonious and with interesting buildings around.
ome restaurants and esplanades give life to the place even in the cold days that we had (cold but sunny, what, in this latitude, is a blessing this time of the year).
We were using a car, and the gentle restrictions to pedestrians became a nightmare for us, enhanced by road works in the few that (it seems) we could use.
The belfry of Mons is one of the several belfries in France and Belgium composing a group considered UNESCO World Heritage.
This one, has one particularity – it is the only one in Baroque style in Belgium.
St Elizabeth church
It was built in 1588, in the Gothic style of Hainaut.
After a fire in 1714, some Gothic elements remained, notably the columns, but the rest was rebuilt in Baroque style, particularly the choir and the upper part of the nave.
The church also has a bell tower dating from 1720.
It is not a must see in Mons, but for us it was a must live.
This large (and ugly) pavilion was the location of the world championship we attended, as it must be of must cultural and economic events in Mons.
The competition only used one third of the space, with another one used as dressing room.
Though its cold and poor look, the conditions inside were warm and acceptable.
There are a few statues in Mons, not many, nor particularly remarkable. For instance, king Leopold II has a statue discreetly placed close to St Waltrude church.
This Neo-classical building built in 1841 is one of the remarkable buildings in Grand Place.
It was conceived by a local architect, Charles Suri, and several times renovated.
I appreciated much the three cast iron gates, with golden medallions
Town Hall, located in Grand Place, started to be was constructed in 1458.
It shows a Gothic style, similar to the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru.
There are very interesting details inside, but the visit are only for groups and by previous request. This must be done writing to the Tourist Office (Grand-Place 22 – 7000 Mons or firstname.lastname@example.org); in July and August visits are organized daily at 2.30 p.m.
Address: Grand Place
This house, built according to Spanish architecture, in the 16th century, and with Gothic details, uses mainly brick.
It was used after a fire, in 1548, that forced construction with cheap material, resistant to fire.
It was restored in 1919-1920, and nowadays it houses “Maison de Presse” another designation commonly used.
Occupying a former convent from the 17th century, this University is one of the three actually in Mons.
It was adapted to its new function, but seem from outside, it seems to have respected the historic look, integrating well the old quarter of the city.
St Waltrude Collegiate Church
Located in the heart of the old County of Hainaut, Saint Waltrude’s Collegiate Church is one of the most characteristic churches Brabantine Gothic architecture.
It was built in the fifteenth century on the orders of canonesses and took 250 years to be concluded, containing many works of Jacques Du Brœucq.
Made with local materials, it is designed in the classic form of a Latin cross sign. It measures 115 meters long, 32 meters wide and rises to 24.5 meters at the keystone. The chancel is surrounded by an ambulatory and 15 chapels.
The most remarkable details in St Waltrude church are the stained glasses. With more than 20 coming from the 16Th century, it is the largest collection of old stained glass in Belgium.
LEFFY – Our restaurant in Mons
I use to suspect restaurants in main squares – they use to sell location more than food, for a price. I had the same doubts here, but it was a nice surprise – dinner was very good, and the price very moderated.
Next day we were looking for a place to lunch? Can you guess were did we go?
Yes, Leffy again, and again with a positive impression
Address: Grand Place
Youth hostel – Excellent location
No, I didn’t stay there – my youth is only in my mind – however I couldn’t resist to the rare location, right close to belfry, only a few meters apart from Grand Place.
It couldn’t be more central, but that was all that I could appreciate.
If you’re young, going to Mons, Lucky you!
Dance in Mons
Dance was the reason that took me to Mons.
Dancing in Mons was great, and visiting Mons a very good complement.
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