The Walloon city of Mons is better known to us as Mons. The city of almost one hundred thousand is the capital of the province of Hainaut. Bergen is located about fifty kilometers south of Brussels, more than an hour and a half drive from Breda and more than two hours drive from Utrecht. Bergen was already inhabited before the beginning of our era, but did not seriously develop into a city until the Middle Ages. Several buildings date from that period. Nowadays Bergen is mainly a student city, where about 15.00 students live and study. Bergen is less known as a city trip destination among the Dutch, although the increasing urge to discover mainly ‘new’ cities means that tourism to Bergen is on the rise.
Top 10 sights of Mons (Mons)
According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the Grand-Place de Mons (Grand-Place de Mons) is the most beautiful and most important square in Mons. The square is largely car-free. Parking is not allowed, which adds to the atmosphere and beauty of the square. The Grote Markt dates back to the Middle Ages and houses a number of historic buildings such as the City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), which has a richly decorated Gothic facade. Various annual events are held on the Grote Markt, such as the fair in Bergen and the winter Christmas market. The many terraces on the square are popular places to eat or drink in Bergen.
Like many Belgian cities, Mons also has a belfry. A belfry is a tower without a religious background, in which bells can be found. The Belfry of Mons has a total height of 87 meters and dates from the seventeenth century. Together with the other belfries of Belgium and France, this belfry is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
#3. St. Waltrude
‘s Church The gothic collegiate St. Waltrude’s Church has been built for no less than 170 years. It started in the year 1450. Finally, work was carried out on St. Waltrude’s Church until 1620, but it was never completely finished. The church, which has beautiful stained glass windows, houses various sights such as a restored seventeenth century painting by painter Van Tulden, two neo-Gothic reliquaries and various statues.
#4. The Monkey of Mons
In the facade of the town hall of Mons you will find a small statue: the Monkey of Mons. This bronze-coloured statue has a height of about forty centimeters and has probably been built into the facade of the town hall since the seventeenth century. The monkey is now a mascot. It is believed that if you stroke the monkey’s head, you can make a wish. In the shops that offer you the monkey as a figurine in the color green.
#5. Pairi Daiza
The most beautiful animal park in the Benelux is only twenty kilometers from Mons/Bergen: Pairi Daiza. This zoo was formerly known as Paradisio and has already won several awards. The park is divided into very beautiful zones, including the Chinese garden ‘Dream of Han Wu Di’, which opened in 2006. Since 2014, two Chinese giant pandas can be admired here: Hao Hao and Xing Hui.
#6. Museum François Duesberg
The Museum of Decorative Art François Duesberg, as the museum is called in full, is located in the old building of the National Bank of Belgium. The museum is entirely devoted to neoclassical art from the period 1775-1825. Beautiful objects include the pendulum clocks with exotic figures from the period 1795 to 1815.
#7. Garden of the Mayor
A popular courtyard garden is ‘Jardin du Maïeur’ or the Garden of the Mayor. The well-maintained courtyard garden was laid out in the 1930s. It is a place where people from the city but also tourists like to walk or relax. Striking work of art is the fountain Le Ropieur. Near the fountain is the statue of a boy who seems to want to wet passers-by.
#8. Castle of Havré
The castle ruins of Havré are located in the village of Havré, close to Mons. This castle dates from the thirteenth century and has been inhabited for centuries. A collapse of part of the castle at the beginning of the last century meant that the castle remained uninhabited for a long time. Work is now underway to rebuild the damaged parts. The accompanying gardens are beautiful, including the rose garden.
#9. Ship lifts in Hainaut
In the Netherlands we have locks to bridge differences in height within waterways, in Belgium the phenomenon of boat lifts is also known. With a boat lift a ship is moved vertically. The ships are raised or lowered in a container with water. You can admire one of the boat lifts still in operation near Mons: the Strépy-Thieu boat lift. Here you can see how the lift bridges a height of no less than 73 meters. In the accompanying visitor center you can see how the boat lift was built.
The official name of the Museum of Fine Arts is Le musée des Beaux-arts. This is simply abbreviated as BAM. The collection of BAM, which reopened in 2013, includes art from different eras and from different movements. A fairly large part of the collection consists of works of art from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. However, there is also room for Pop Art, Cobra works and archaeological materials.