Mons is a lovely city with a rich history. It is full of buildings boasting different architectural styles and backgrounds. Cafes line the streets offering plenty of spots to stop off, take a break, and taste some fine food. Read on to learn more about the best things to do in the area!
1. St. Symphorien Military Cemetery
St. Symphorien Military Cemetery serves as a resting place for British and German soldiers killed primarily in the Battle of Mons in WWI. There are 229 Commonwealth and 284 German service men that are buried here. One notable death is British Private John Parr, the first Brit to be killed in action on the Western Front. George Lawrence Price, believed to be the last solider killed in action during WWI is also buried at St Symphorien.
St. Symphorien Military Cemetery
Address: Rue Nestor Dehon 32, 7030 Mons, Belgium
Website: St Symphorien Military Cemetery
2. Church of Sainte-Waudru
Construction of this impressive Gothic church dates all the way back to 1450, continuing until 1686. It is dedicated to Saint Waudru who founded a small religious community in Mons in the 7th century. Inside are beautiful stained glass windows and sculptures by Jacques Du Broeuck, an artist from Mons, all dating back to the 16th century. The Golden Coach (Car d’Or) rests in the church here, waiting for its annual outing on Trinity Sunday, with the relics of Waudru. The Treasury is also worth a visit, but has limited hours so be sure to plan ahead if that’s something you want to see!
Church of Sainte-Waudru
Address: Rue du Chapitre 3, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Website: Church of Sainte-Waudru (in French)
3. The Silex Museum
The mines at Spiennes extend over 250 acres (101 hectare) and four miles (6.4 km), making this one of the oldest and largest flint extraction sites in Europe. 6,000 years ago, Neolithic man developed a way to extract flint, cut it and make use of it, marking a change in the way humans lived. The Silex museum gives visitors a chance to understand the area, what it was, and why it is significant. Exhibits offer information on how flint was acquired and made into useful tools. Educational walks are available and if booked ahead there is the chance to descend into the original mine. Dress accordingly to visit the mines as they can be quite chilly! Good walking shoes are also recommended.
Address: Rue du Point du Jour, 7032 Mons, Belgium
4. Explore the Musee du Doudou
The Musee du Doudou in Mons ultimately celebrates Mons. It celebrates the Ducasse Rituelle, to St George and the Dragon, right in the heart of the city. The museum is housed in a building from 1625, the former Mont-de-Piété building. It is all about interaction, interpretation, and experience. Here you can see St. George’s helmet and lance. Screens, videos and interactive spots allow everyone to engage and fully experience the museum. It gives a greater understanding of the Ducasse and why this is such a unifying event for the city.
Musee du Doudou
Address: Grand Place, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Website: Musee du Doudou
5. Hotel De Ville (city hall)
Hotel De Ville is the City Hall of Mons. It is a building from the 15th century that is simply stunning, both inside and out. View of the Grand Palace from the balcony are lovely, though visiting hours are limited, so be sure to plan in advance.
Hotel De Ville
Address: Grand Place 22, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Website: Hotel De Ville (in French)
6. The Beffroi de Mons - bell tower
The Belfry of Mons is the only baroque belfry still in existence. It was built in the 17th century after the previous clock tower was destroyed. It is a truly lovely building with a very interesting history and architectural structure. The belfry offers a nice panorama out over the city. To get to the top you can either take the stairs up or use a lift that gets you most of the way there.
The Beffroi de Mons
Address: 7000 Mons, Belgium
Website: The Beffroi de Mons
7. BAM Modern Art Museum
The Musée des Beaux-Arts is a space where visitors can discover. It was recently renovated to be able to host exhibitions of an international level. Events are held here throughout the year. The building itself is very nice, with a bright airy interior. Guided tours of the museum are available upon request. Many exhibits change regularly, with different artists being featured. The museum is free the first Sunday of the month.
BAM Modern Art Museum
Address: Rue Neuve 8, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Website: Beaux-Arts Mons
8. Visit the “paper Google” - The Mundaneum
The Mundaneum finds its origins in 1910 with Paul Otlet and Hennri La Fontaine. They developed a system called the Universal Decimal Classification that was designed to classify information. It eventually became an archive with over 12 million index cards and documents. The Mundaneum serves as an interesting look into the past of data collection and management. It has been moved several times over the years, into smaller spaces, but whats left of it resides in the Centre d’archives de la Communauté Française in Mons.
Address: Rue de Nimy 76, 7000 Mons, Belgium
9. Francois Duesberg Museum
Museum François Duesberg was opened in 1994. It is entirely devoted to arts from 1775-1825. The collection includes clocks, porcelain, pottery, gold and silver items, jewels and more. The items are high quality, in superb condition, and are truly stunning. This museum is a gem in Mons and definitely worth a stop.
Francois Duesberg Museum
Address: Square Franklin Delano Roosevelt 12, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Website: Francois Duesberg Museum
10. Anciens Abbatoirs
Anciens Abattoirs is an old slaughter house that is now used as a modern art gallery. It was first opened to the public in 2006. The museum hosts a variety of events and temporary exhibits. There are many beautiful pieces to enjoy, mainly paintings and sculptures.
Address: Rue de la Trouille 17, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Website: Anciens Abbatoirs
Mons has so much to offer, no matter your interests. Enjoy some of these things and all the city has to offer!
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