Picnic in the Parc du Beffroi
Get away from it all with the family
We’re in Mons for two days. The girls are enchanted. The Grand-Place, the Grand-Hornu, the PASS, not to mention shopping in the Fripiers district: we haven’t had time to get bored. But I want to take some time to spend with my two little blonde beauties. Life goes too quickly. Alice will soon be steeling my clothes... Paul, my husband, gave me a great idea this morning:“How about a picnic somewhere?”“Bingo”, I know exactly where we need to go for that. The Parc du Beffroi.
The city’s landmark
Right at the top of the city, we arrive in the Parc du Château. That’s what it’s called. It’s a peaceful spot. There are just a few locals chatting on the benches about the rain and the nice weather. We throw down the blanket, and Mélody, my youngest, is already pointing up at the big tower opposite. “Oh oh oh”. Alice tells her that it’s a belfry, and I’m surprised that my eldest knows what it is!In the heart of this island of greenery, we’re at the bottom of a sacred monster. For more than three centuries, it has towered over the city. It’s the only baroque belfry in Belgium. It took up its position in the Parc du Château belonging to the counts of Hainaut when the Clock Tower fell down. A real landmark for the people of Mons, it marked the opening of the gates to the city, the curfew, the working hours, and alerted them to fires thanks to a lookout. During the First World War, it was also the lookout who announced the arrival of the German troops, and again, it was the lookout who rang the bells to announce the Liberation. Today, its 49 bells mark out the time to the people.