A bit of history...
This town of Celtic origin has gone through many murky
periods, sometimes involved in the feudal wars, being
burnt and destroyed in 1466, and sometimes involved
in the endemic wars between France and Spain, being
invaded in 1914. Later, Dinant went through endless
fights between the inhabitants of Dinant and those of
a town situated downriver on the other bank: Bouvignes.
It was the time of the “dinanteries”...
At that time (14th and 15th centuries), Bouvignes was
a town that worked the copper and competed with Dinant.
The inhabitants of Bouvignes built a tower in the riverbank,
which was called Crèvecoeur (heartbreaker), insulting
the citizens of Dinant. The latter, in revenge, built
another tower, high and strong, which was called Montorgeuil
However, Dinant’s economy had glorious periods:
the “dinanteries” (copper work) were highly
prized in the Rhine valley and in the London markets.
The decline of this industry throughout the 18th century
made way for the tanning and the stationery, which was
specialised in playing cards. It was in those days that
appeared the famous “couques” of Dinant.
Since the end of the 19th century, the tourist and hotel
industry did not stop growing and, nowadays, it has
an important place in the local economy.
We shall not forget that the town of the “copères”,
name given to he citizens of Dinant because of their
fame as copper workers, offers many other important
Situated lenghtwise between the river and the rock,
Dinant builds proudly the town hall and the collegiate
church, with its blown-up bell tower. On the other hand,
the “Citadelle”, fortress that dominates
the whole town, was built in 1821 by the Dutch. But
was never used. It was only occupied by the German during
the Second World War, and was bombarded by the American
artillery in September 1944.
Apart from the rich history of Dinant, this town is
also well-known for its parallel stories: about the
towns and its inhabitants. Stories, tales and legends
that have been orally transmitted up to now.
The “Citadelle” of Dinant
The fortress is situated at 100 meter above the town,
and from there, the view of the Meuse is dizzy. Inside
the ramparts, life-size mannequins represent the most
important episodes of the European and Belgian History.
Dungeons, kitchens, carriages, cannons, the Arms Museum,
and many other things can be visited.
The collegiate church “Notre Dame de Dinant”
A typical church of Dinant that is worth a visit.
This church has, since 934, the rank of collegiate.
It was fitted out in the 12th century, in accordance
with the Romanesque architecture. In 1228, as a result
of a tragic landslide of the rock, it was damaged and
36 people died. The collegiate church was reconstructed
in accordance with the typical Gothic style of the Meuse
valley. Later, the strange bell tower was added, and
its bulb form gives a particular appearance to Dinant.
Inside the church, there are baptismal fonts dated from
1472, a Dinant copper lectern (1731) and an extraordinary
stained glass window where biblical scenes are represented.
This window is a masterpiece of the glazier Ladon.