The little town of Dinant in the Belgian Ardennes on the river Meuse just south of  Namur is a delightful  place.  It is well protected by high cliffs and has an old fortress  on top, rather like the one in Namur.  Dinant has had a rather chequered history, suffering particularly during the war between France and the Spanish Netherlands.   During the First World War the Germans massacred several hundred of its inhabitants, but surprisingly,  given its proximity to  towns such as Bastogne and Malmedy, it emerged relatively unscathed from the Battle of the Bulge.  There are still old buildings to be seen in the Grande Rue as well as the church and old stone bridge.

Now Dinant is a holiday centre with cruises on the Meuse as well as boat hire.  The town has made the most of its riverside setting with cafes and restaurants along  one bank.  The railway runs to along the other bank with regular services to Namur and Brussels.  A very pleasant place to visit.

The inventor of the saxophone,  a Monsieur Sax, was born here – another famous Belgian to add to the collection!

16 thoughts on “Dinant”

  1. How very dare you, Sipu! Old Rompuy-Pompuy, the Pres of the United States of Europe is a Flem. So with the Saxman and Herge the Tintinman, that’s three.

  2. Belgium has really only been Belgium since 1830, so it’s not had a long time to produce the Shakespeare or the Goethe or the Beethoven or Vivaldi. How about Rene Magritte, the Surrealist painter and Jacques Brel the chanteur? See, we’re getting close to half a dozen. And whover first produced Belgian chocolates should be sanctified!

    Bearsy, can you provide a date and place of birth for Hercule?

  3. Well, I’m very cross that the Top Ten Famous Belgians list does not include either Georges Simenon, creator of Maigret, or Jacques Brel. There must be more than a dozen now, though Rumpy-pumpy will have to go in the Infamous list.

  4. Pseu, Janus has already mentioned Herge, the creator of Tintin, Captain Haddock et al, if that’s who you mean.

    Claire – how very mysterious! I love Brel’s song to his country – “Le plat pays”. Do you?

  5. Sheona, Belgium looks like splitting into two very soon – so its nationhood will have been quite short.

    Btw, I’m sure that if we follow our cherished founder’s lead and name fictitious Belgians the list will grow quite long. 🙂

  6. Janus – I thought all Belgians were fictitious. Surely you’re not telling me that Rumpy-Pumpy is a real person? 😕

  7. Dinant looks as though it is an interesting place to visit, Sheona.

    I have never been to Belgium, but my mother visited some friends there once. It’s not top of my list but you have certainly made it a “possible”.

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