Enjoy a bird’s-eye view to discover everything the region has to offer… in Mons, there are plenty of places tochoose from. My favourite is the castle square outside the Belfry. Alright, you have to climb quite a slope alongside the youth hostel, or tackle a few steps via Ruelle César… But the effort is well worth it!
 

The Collegiate Church

From all the way up there, you’ll get a 360° view of the city and the surrounding area. On the right, behind Mons’ oldest building, the Chapelle Ste Calixte, your eyes will be drawn to the turrets and roof of Sainte-Waudru Collegiate Church. Close your eyes and imagine the jubilant crowds on Trinity Sunday:once the famous Car d’Or has made its way up the ramp, the procession is over. Along with the actors in the battle, the dragon, positioned by the façade of the church, waits for the signal of the descent along the Rue des Clercs… We’ve all got the image in our heads. But for now, let’s get back to the present. We’ll have to come back to enjoy the Doudou!

Lush green scenery

Open your eyes again and look out towards the lush green scenery, studded with wooded hills, the Mont Panisel, the Héribus, and the many slag heaps, bearing witness to the region’s industrial past. Some are accessible on foot or by bike, I’ll take you there later. When the skies are clear, and if you look hard enough, you can even see the Crachet headframe in Frameries, which now houses the Scientific Adventure Park (PASS). The wind farms in Quévy and Estinnes are also clearly visible;the latter also boasts one of the tallest turbines in Belgium!
 
Even further away, on the left, you can see another giant, the Strépy-Thieuboatlift, the tallest boatlift in the world!

The Belfry will soon be back

In April 2015, you will be able to go up into the Belfry. After 30 years of restoration work, I’ll let you know my thoughts once it’s open. Come on, it’s time to go back down to explore the lanes and alleys of the beautiful Cité du Doudou. And to see Mons and its Belfry, you’ll need to start climbing again, this time to the top of the Héribus:it’s not every day you get to go up a slag heap. I’ll talk about that in another article.

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