The kilometre of culture
Modern architecture is at the heart of the Mons 2015 project and constitutes one of its main themes. The integration of architecture into a historic city is a daily challenge that we will always have to face. Discover the kilometre of culture!
As a flagship project of the 2015 year of culture, the kilometre of culture is led by a group of architects who believe in creating a link between the buildings of yesterday and the requirements of tomorrow. The headquarters of the Mons 2015 Foundation, Arsonic (a centre for emerging music, concert venue and recording studio) and some one hundred prestige apartments will be established around the Manège Theatre. The Maison Folie, just a stone’s throw away, is also part of this new momentum.
- Points of interest
At the start of the Rue de Nimy, on your left at number 7 is the Royal Conservatory of Mons. This university of the arts of the French Community of Belgium trains artists, performers and designers in two fields: music, and theatre and the spoken word.
On your right, at number 12, is Plaza Art. This is a local cinema showing subsidised films to a wide audience. Mainly recent European productions in their original versions with subtitles. Every year, Plaza Art shows around thirty premieres and some sixty national releases.
Continue for a few metres and you will see on your right the Church of Sainte Elisabeth. This was the last parish created in Mons in the 16th century from the original parish of Saint Germain. The church built in Hainaut gothic style was consecrated in 1588. The nave and choir of the present church, rebuilt following the fire of 1714, are the work of a Mons architect, Claude de Bettignies. The bell tower above it was built in 1719/1720.
The Courts of Justice are at number 35 Rue de Nimy. Opposite is the public prosecutor’s office, the façade of which comprises in part a former abbey sanctuary dating from the 18th century and in part an example of modern architecture.
Go down the Rue de Nimy to number 76 where you will find Mundaneum (scheduled to reopen in June 2015), the central archives of the Wallonia-Brussels federation and a temporary exhibition space open to the public since 1998.
At the corner, turn into the Rue des Tuileries and go up as far as number 1 Rue des Passages, where you will find the Manège Theatre.
An astonishing construction in glass and concrete, the “Manège” Theatre was to be built in a former small riding school dating from the early 20th century. Pierre Hebbelinck’s architecture studio managed to get round the space constraint by designing an auditorium with almost 600 seats which was slotted into the old building.
Following the merger of different cultural institutions in Mons in April 2002, this venue has revitalised culture in the city, like a heart beating at its centre, through a high quality, diversified, daring programme focused on making culture democratically accessible to the greatest number.
A few metres further on in the Rue des Trois Boudins, you will find on your left the courtyard giving access to the premises of the Mons 2015 Foundation.
Go to the end of the Rue des Trois Boudins and turn immediately left.
Then go back up the Rue des Arbalestriers and a few metres further on you will come to the Arsonic building at number 138 Rue de Nimy.
Now go back down the Rue des Arbalestriers, passing the I love Mons project on your right.
Continue along the interior path and go to number 8 Rue des Arbalestriers.
This is the Maison Folie.
Go up a few metres as far as the Rue des Droits de l’Homme, and you will see the Manège de Sury on your left at number 4.
- 22 meters of difference in height