According to Prozipcodes, Namur is the capital of Wallonia and the province of Namur. The Walloon Parliament sits at the foot of the citadel on the banks of the Sambre and the Meuse in the city. The city is known as a student city. The Université de Namur has several faculties in the city. This fact ensures that the old town of Namur is bustling. You will encounter groups of students everywhere in the vicinity of the city’s historic buildings. These in turn ensure that there are all kinds of nice, hip eateries and bars in the city. As soon as the sun shines, terraces appear on many small squares. If you walk through the old center during a visit to Namur, you will notice that many old buildings in the old center are still in excellent condition. Many of these buildings were badly hit in the First and Second World Wars but have been restored afterwards.
Top 10 Things to Do in Namur
#1. Citadel of Namur
This medieval citadel towers over the city of Namur. The citadel was built at the confluence of the Meuse and the Sambre. This is to guarantee an optimal defense of the city and the bridge over the Meuse. Large parts of the citadel have now been restored and other restoration work is still in progress. On top of the citadel one can find, among other things, a perfumery, a restaurant and a playground. One can take several walks through the citadel that lead past the many gates, stairs and vistas of the citadel. From the citadel you have a beautiful view over the city of Namur.
information about the Citadel of Namur.
#2. Tour Saint-Jacques or Belfry of Namur
The Belfry of Namur, like all other belfries in Belgium and France, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This tower was originally part of the old fortress walls of Namur, but was given the function of a belfry after the original belfry burned down. The tower is an important part of the skyline of Namur, but unfortunately cannot be visited. Now I wonder if this would be spectacular because there are virtually no windows in the belfry. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bourse de Commerce was attached to the tower.
#3. The city walk through the old center
A nice way to see all the highlights of the city is to walk the city walk of Namur. The route is described in a booklet that can be obtained for a small fee at the local tourist office. You can also download the route for free via the IziTravel app. During this walk you can download an mp3 tour on the internet that explains in your own language about the many historic buildings in Namur. During this walk you will encounter bronze shells on the ground. It is not wise to follow these unprepared as they lead you to Santiago de Compostela.
#4. Halle al’Chair
On the river Sambre not far from the confluence with the Meuse stands the Halle al’Chair. This guild house dates from the end of the 16th century and was commissioned by Philip II of Spain for the city’s butchers. During this period it was still forbidden to slaughter at home. When this was allowed in the early 19th century, the building lost its original function and since then the building has been used as a museum. The Musée Archéologique de Namur has been housed in this building on the corner of Rue de Pont and Rue de Bouchers since 1855.
#5. Théâtre Royal de Namur
This beautifully restored theater is located in the heart of the old center of Namur. After the previous theater burned down in the mid-19th century, this beautiful theater was built in the Italian style. It is made entirely of sandstone, which makes it appear much lighter than the other historic buildings in the center of Namur. In 1998 there was a major renovation in which the theater was equipped with the latest theater techniques. During this renovation, the French painter Garouste painted a gigantic fresco on the ceiling.
#6. Saint Aubank
Cathedral Dating from the 18th century, this cathedral was built on the remains of a church that stood here in the 13th century. What is special is that one of the towers of the original church is still attached to the cathedral. The Saint Aubank Cathedral is one of the most striking buildings in Namur. Certainly if you take a look at the city from the citadel, your eye immediately falls on the greenish dome of the cathedral. On the square in front of the cathedral, Place Saint-Aubain, mock fights between waders are held every year during the Feast of the Walloon Region.
#7. Feast of the Walloon Region
The Feast of the Walloon Region is traditionally celebrated on the third Sunday of September in Wallonia. In Namur they go the extra mile and turn it into a five-day party. The party here starts on the Thursday and ends on the Monday after the third Sunday of September. Traditionally, there are battles between the waders who try to stand on their stilts for as long as possible on the Place Saint-Aubain. There are food and drink stalls throughout the city and there are several fairground attractions. One of the highlights is the Walloon mass in the Saint Nicolas church, which has a slightly comic undertone.
#8. Perfumery workshop Guy Delforge
The 1970s perfumery workshop Guy Delforge is located in the old officers’ mess of the citadel of Namur. This perfumery has already won several awards and is open to the public. There are regular guided tours that give you an insight into the art of smelling. During these tours you will also learn a little more about the history of the citadel. In the cellars of the citadel are kept the various extracts left to make a perfume. In total, more than 250 extracts are stored here.
#9. The Felicien Rops Museum
The artist Felicien Rops was born in Namur in 1833 and spent most of his life in Wallonia. He is best known for his satirical prints, but the museum highlights all parts of his oeuvre. The museum is located in a former mansion in the center of Namur and is open every day except Mondays. In addition to the permanent collection on Felicien Rops, the museum regularly hosts other exhibitions.
#10. Canal cruise on the Meuse
There are several ways to get to know the city in Namur, but by water is probably the best way. For example, you can admire the beautiful skyline of the city with a tour boat or rent a boat yourself and set out.