A little history lesson

It all started in 1861, when the town of Mons became the site of huge construction work. The Dutch fortifications were destroyed, which led to a project for the distribution of water, this was necessary given the bad hygiene conditions and the pollution of groundwater that threatened the health of the Mons inhabitants. The idea was to divert the course of the river Trouille that runs through the city, towards the periphery and to build a long sewer collector following the old riverbed. A pump station would ensure the water supply to the town. The works were started and, to house the elevator devices, a building was put up on the Boulevard Dolez in 1870-1871. The Mons architect Joseph Hubert created it as follows: a main hall, with wide glazed façades to invite in the light (this is where the hydraulic machines were housed); brick walls holding up a steel frame forming a peaked roof; two stone and brick pavilions, that housed the coal store or workshops.
From 1871, the Water Machine provided drinking water for the whole town of Mons. This water distribution network was one of the largest in Belgium. In 1961, the Machine was dismantled during the second diversion of the Trouille and the site was disaffected in 1974.

However, the main building survived. Classified in 1977, it was restored in the beginning of the 1990s by the neighbouring Banque Nationale. A small pond evokes the old swimming pool, shaped by the time that held back the water of the Trouille. In 1996, the building was sold to the Town of Mons.
The site enjoyed a second life, becoming the centre for various cultural events. Two contemporary extensions, thanks to architects Pierre Hebbelinck and Pierre de Wit, were added in the same materials as the original, creating a complex of more than 3000 m².
In 2015, this site became the seat of the new Centre d’Interprétation d’Histoire Militaire de Mons (Centre for the Interpretation of Military History of Mons), known as the Mons Memorial Museum (MMM).

A moving flash-back

Upon entering the Mons Memorial Museum, you will make a journey in time and relive the military past of the Mons region. You will discover how soldiers lived on the front and how civilians lived under occupation during the two world wars. From the battle of August 1914 until the liberation in 1918, you will discover the twists and turns of the Great War. Not forgetting the famous legend of the “Angels of Mons”, adapted in cartoon format for the museum. However, the MMM wants to be known as more than just a museum, it is also a place for meetings, intergenerational exchanges and questions.

On the one hand, the Museum offers a vast permanent exhibition that plunges visitors into the heart of daily life in times of war. During the visit, you will go from one testimony to another, the guiding lines of the visit, whether British, American, Canadian, Belgian or German. Interactive maps, letters, notebooks, interviews and videos will animate the many authentic exhibits. These items come from the legacy of veterans after the conflict or were discovered on the battlefields.
On the other hand, you can extend your visit in the temporary exhibition hall. You will often find a military history theme to give you food for thought.

Note that it is also possible to organise conferences and other company events in this historical setting. An auditorium, a multifunctional room and a cafeteria are at your disposal, as well as a projector, flipcharts and Wi-Fi.



Guided visits of the museum are possible through visitMons. Information: groupes@ville.mons.be

Visits available in French, English, Dutch and German

The site is accessible to persons with reduced mobility: thanks to the collaboration with Les Amis des Aveugles (Friends of the Blind), museum guides have been made in Braille as well as other specific adaptations.

Free entry upon presentation of the Mons Card!


Mons Memorial Museum
Boulevard Dolez, 51 – 7000 Mons
Tel.: +32 (0)65/40 53 20