Namur is a city and municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the province of Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of Wallonia, Walloon Government and administration.
Namur stands at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers and straddles three different regions – Hesbaye to the north, Condroz to the south-east, and Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse to the south-west. The city of Charleroi is located to the west. The language spoken is French.
|• Mayor||Maxime Prévot (CDH)|
|• Governing party/ies||CDH-Ecolo-MR|
|• Total||175.69 km2 (67.83 sq mi)|
|• Density||630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)|
Culture and sights
Namur has taken on a new role as the capital of the federal region of Wallonia. Its location at the head of the Ardennes has also made it a popular tourist centre, with a casino located in its southern district on the left bank of the Meuse.
The town’s most prominent sight is the citadel, now demilitarised and open to the public. Namur also has a distinctive 18th-century cathedral dedicated to Saint Aubain and a belfry classified by UNESCO as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France which are listed as a World Heritage Site.
The Couvent des Soeurs de Notre-Dame used to contain masterpieces of Mosan art by Hugo d’Oignies, currently presented in the Musée des Arts Anciens (Rue de Fer). Elsewhere there is an archeological museum and a museum dedicated to Félicien Rops.
An odd Namurois custom is the joust on stilts (dating back to 1411) practiced by the stiltwalkers of Namur. The annual Combat de l’Échasse d’Or (Fight for the Golden Stilt), held on the third Sunday in September, is the most important joust of the year. Two teams, the Mélans and the Avresses, dress in medieval clothes while standing on stilts and do battle in one of the town’s principal squares.
Namur possesses a distinguished university, the University of Namur (previously known as the Facultés universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, FUNDP), founded in 1831. The University of Louvain (UCLouvain) also has several facilities in the city through its UCLouvain Namur University Hospital (CHU UCLouvain Namur), the provinces’ largest employer.
Since 1986 Namur has been home to the Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film. A jazz (Nam’in’Jazz) and a rock (Verdur Rock) festival both take place in Namur annually.
The local football team is named Union Royale Namur. The local baseball team is named Namur Angels. The annual Namur cyclo-cross race, part of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, takes place on the hills around the citadel.
Sights near Namur include Maredsous Abbey, Floreffe Abbey, and Annevoie Castle with its surrounding Jardins d’Annevoie.
- La Maison du Dessert (rue Marcinelle) is reputed for having the best desserts in town. You cannot go past this place.
- Pâtisserie Café Dumont (Rue de Marchovelette 21) has waffles with whipped cream and melted chocolate that are downright decadent. They also sell great ice cream.
- Le Panorama restaurant, on the Citadel has a terrace with a great view over the city and the river and a free Wi-Fi hotspot.
- The Maison Saint-Aubain, rue de l’Ange offers great local and European delicatessen and will make you a fresh sandwich with whatever they are selling.
- Le Chemin du Cedre has great Lebanese food at moderate prices. The ‘prestige plate’ is a very nice set of small dishes. Lovely nice garden.
- Good open sandwiches at Le Père Gourmandin.
- The Saturday market for buying fresh local food.