Top Historic Sights in Dinant, Belgium

Explore the historic highlights of Dinant

Collegiate Church of Our Lady

The Collegiate Church of Our Lady (Collégiale Notre Dame de Dinant) is a 13th-century Gothic cathedral in Dinant, on the banks of the River Meuse. The collegiate church replaced a 10th-century Romanesque church which collapsed in 1228, leaving only the North door. Its most iconic part is the separate 16th century pear-shaped bell tower.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dinant, Belgium

Citadel of Dinant

The Citadel of Dinant (Citadelle de Dinant) was built in 1815 on a site which was originally fortified in 1051 when the region was ruled by the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The citadel overlooks the city of Dinant and the strategic Meuse river which runs through the town. It is open to the public. Together with Huy, Liège and Namur, the Citadel of Dinant forms part of the so-called Meuse Citadels.
Founded: 1815 | Location: Dinant, Belgium

Notre-Dame de Leffe Abbey

The abbey of Leffe was founded in 1152 on the river Meuse in southern Belgium. Like many monasteries across Europe, the Premonstratensian (Norbertine) canons of the abbey brewed ale, starting in 1240. Using knowledge passed from generation to generation and ingredients found in the wild near the abbey, the canons developed a unique ale with a subtle taste and high alcohol content, brewed only at the abbey. The abbey has ...
Founded: 1152 | Location: Dinant, Belgium

Crèvecœur Castle

The ruins of the Château de Crèvecœur are located in Bouvignes-sur-Meuse, part of the Belgian city of Dinant. The ruin field can be visited freely all year round at your own risk. Already at the end of the 11th century, Godfrey I, Count of Namur had a fortress built at Bouvignes. His son Henry the Blind had heavy walls built around it. Archaeologically identified fire marks are associated with a siege of Bouvignes ...
Founded: 1320 | Location: Dinant, Belgium

Walzin Castle

Walzin Castle is located over the river Lesse near Dinant. Construction began in the 13th century, and the 15th-century Renaissance horseshoe tower with four cannon ports still exists, even though the castle was burned down by the French army in 1554. There were several restorations later, the latest by Baron Fréderic Brugman between 1930 and 1932. Victor Hugo made a drawing of it in 1863.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dinant, Belgium

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.

History

The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.