Hôtel de Ville de Mons
Stand on the Grand-Place and you are opposite the Hôtel de Ville, a gothic building on only two floors with a baroque bell tower.
On the façade, on your right, are the steps with the bronze sculpture of Saint Georges by Gérard Garouste (2006), and on your left just beside the gateway is the Guardhouse Monkey, the city’s good-luck charm.
Inside, the rooms and "Great Halls" with their period furniture are well worth a visit.
If you want to visit the Halls of the Hôtel de Ville, please book in advance in writing. Visits must be accompanied by an official guide from the Tourist Office.
Information from the Tourist Office on +32(0)65/35.34.88 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Guardhouse Monkey
On the Hôtel de Ville façade, to the left of the entrance gateway, you will find the Guardhouse Monkey, the city’s emblem! Custom has it that anyone who strokes its head with their left hand will have a year of good fortune. Go through the gateway of the Hôtel de Ville and cross the courtyard. Take the underground passageway that leads to the Mayor’s Garden.
Salle des Sacquiaux
Entrons dans l’Hôtel de Ville. La première salle dite « Salle des Sacquiaux » était à l’origine une salle de garde. La tapisserie qui y est exposée en permanence date du XXe et évoque les traditions montoises dont le Combat entre Saint-Georges et un dragon et la procession du Car d’Or.
Cour de l'Hôtel de Ville
The Mayor’s Garden
When you come out of the underground passageway, go up the steps in front of you.
You are now in the Mayor’s Garden, a small, leafy haven of peace in the heart of the city.
On your right you will see the statue of the Ropieur, a mischievous Mons boy, who sprays water on passers-by.
The Mayor’s Garden is the perfectly place to listen to the chimes from the Belfry and admire the many 100-year-old trees.
The Wallonia Royal Chamber Orchestra and office of the Municipal Administration are also here. In April 2005 the Mont-de-Piété building will be home to the future Doudou Museum. For further information, please go to www.museedudoudou.mons.be .
On leaving by the Rue d'Enghien, the Chapel of the Condemned is on your right. Turn immediately right into the Passage Victor Hugo. You now come to the courtyard of the Hôtel de Graty and on your left you will see the Fernand Dumont Garden.
Go across the courtyard to the road and you will be in the Rue Marguerite Bervoets.
Opposite you is the Ruelle César, a set of steps that will take you to the Castle Gardens and the Belfry.
Note that the Ruelle César is only accessible during the opening hours of the Castle Gardens, i.e. Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. Access is free.
If the Ruelle César is closed, continue to your left along the Rue Marguerite Bervoets, with the Central Library of the University of Mons on your left. Continue along the Rue des Gades and you will come to the foot of the Belfry. Go along the side of the Mons youth hostel, turn right and take the slope leading up to the Castle to reach the gardens.
Quittons l'Hôtel de Ville
En face de la Collégiale
Enter the Church on the left from the Place du Chapitre.
This private and personal church of the canonesses of Sainte Waudru is classified as an exceptional heritage site in Wallonia and is a remarkable discovery in its own right, with its Treasury, 29 chapels, 16th century stained glass windows and Renaissance sculptures by Jacques Du Broeucq. Construction began in 1450 with the choir and was only completed around 1621. Not to be missed, too, are the reliquaries of Sainte Waudru and the amazing Car d’Or used each year in the Procession of the same name.
The Treasury of the Collegiate Church of Sainte Waudru can be visited from 12 noon to 6 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. Entry is free on the first Sunday of the month.
Leave the Church via the Rue Samson, where you will see the Square Saint Germain on your left, and head for the pedestrianized street, the main commercial artery in the city centre. The city has a wealth of shops of all types that give rise to the name the “City of Original Gifts”. For further information, see www.cadeauoriginal.mons.be. From the Rue Samson, continue straight ahead and cross the pedestrianized area via the Rue des Fripiers. Turn left at the corner of the Rue des Fripiers and Rue de la Coupe. You will then be in the Rue de la Coupe where you will find a number of restaurants and shops selling original items. As you pass the renovated Marché-aux-Herbes and Rue de la Clé, there are various architectural gems to be seen. Go back up the Rue de la Coupe and continue to the Grand-Place.
Car d’Or, ce char d’apparat du XVIIIe voulu par les chanoinesses pour « processionner » les reliques de leur
patronne sainte Waudru qui au VIIe s’est installée la première sur la colline qui est devenue Mons.