This time, the trip takes us to Namur. Namur is one of the French speaking part of Belgium (Wallonia). Situated in the southern part of Belgium, this beautiful city stands at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers. From Hasselt (the city where I currently live at), the trip will take around 2 hours using the train. The train will first take you to Liege then continue to this capital of both province of Namur and Wallonia (since 1986).
With the history of over than 100,000 years ago, Namur was developed into a prosperous merchant town in the late Middle Ages. With such a long history from the ancient times, medieval, to modern times, Namur has become a small lovely city with a combination of both historical and modern places.
We can explore this small city in a day by foot. The number of pedestrian streets make it in fact rather difficult to penetrate by car. Unfortunately, we arrived in Namur by 4 in the afternoon, and just like the other cities in Belgium, most of the stores and attractions are closed by 6 pm.
Citadel & Medieval Castle
Located not too far from Namur Station (15 minutes by foot), this place dominating the hill at the confluence of the Meuse and the Sambre. This huge stone fortress has a history going back over 2,000 years. Site of a Celtic oppidum, it later became a Roman fort, then the Castle of the Counts of Namur. The extensive citadel around the castle was built by Menno van Coehoorn and improved by Vauban in the 17th century. The Guy Delforge Perfumery is located on top of the citadel . From this place, we can enjoy the view of Namur that perfectly blends with the two rivers.
On the way to Citadel from Namur central station, we will find Halle al’Chair exactly before the bridge that crosses over the Sambre. Constructed between 1588 and 1590, the Halle al’Chair served as Namur’s meat and fish market until 1806. It is currently used as the Archeological Museum that is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm with the ticket price of only 3€. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to get into this building this time.
The view and the amazing history of Namur are not the only reason why we love this small city. On our way to look around the city, we accidentally found this awesome secondhand bookstore in the heart of Namur.
There are a wide range of books sold in this bookstore. Starting from old Agatha Christie’s, arts, musics, even the latest Harry Potter’s books are available here. In this lovely bookstore, you will not only find awesome old books, but also old vinyl record, VHS cassettes, CD, DVDs, and VCDs. One additional point to this bookstore is that they sell books and piece of art that are sold to support the Oxfam organization. Isn’t it awesome? All you need is just a feeling of love towards these awesome stuffs to find the books or things you desire. Most of the books are in French though they have small sections for English, Dutch, and German too.
In the centrum, right in front of the Places d’Armes and Belfry, we found the local market that sales ranges of products from craft, jewelry, organic foods, etc. We bought 6 jars of jam for 10€. At the end, don’t forget to sip a glass of Namur’s white beer.
See you on the next trip! 🙂