Dinant is a very cute town in the Belgian Ardennes. It has an impressive citadel and is a great base for explroring the region which is an outdoor paradise.
South of Dinant, begins the romantical part of the Meuse, a deep trench in the Ardennes plateau. The most spectacular section beeing located at Freyr (6km from Dinant) with on the right bank spectacular rocks, and on the left bank a mini Versailles with its Renaissance castle surrounded by classical gardens (see the entry under Hastière). Two breathtaking free outlooks are located on the road between Dinant and Beauraing.
The city's landmark is the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame (illustration, right), rebuilt in Gothic style on its old foundations after falling rocks from an adjacent cliff partially destroyed the former Romanesque church in 1227. Several stages for paired west end towers were completed before the project was abandoned in favour of the present central tower with its highly-recognisable onion dome and facetted multi-staged lantern.
Apart from the main block is the Rocher Bayard that would have been split by the giant hoof of Bayard, the horse carrying the four sons of Aymon on their legendary flight from Charlemagne through the Ardennes, told in Les Quatre Fils Aymon, a famous 12th-century chanson de geste.
Last update on 7 May 2010
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