As much as possible these days we're trying to take advantage of the good weather in Belgium when it happens and escaping Brussels on day trips to explore some of the surrounding towns and cities. We are in a COVID-19 lockdown at the moment so all museums and restaurants are closed, so we've spent our weekends visiting outdoor attractions that permit walking since there's plenty of space - such as our afternoon at Park van Tervuren last weekend.
This time around, we hopped on a train southbound for Namur, a beautiful and historic town divided across the Rivers Meuse and Sambre. At the dividing point of these two rivers sits the impressive Citadel of Namur, the most well-known icon of the town and what visitors flock to to see and explore.
The Citadel was built on the confluence of the two rivers thanks to the strategically strong defensive position. In its glory days, the Citadel of Namur was considered one of the best in all of Europe. Throughout its history (which started in prehistoric times but was first documented militarily speaking in the 3rd century AD), the Citadel has been a fort, a castle, counts' residences, a King's summer home, leisure and cultural centre, sports stadium and, in the Second World War, barracks and underground fortifcations were added.
During non-COVID times, guided tours of the tunnels deep below the ground are available as is a large visitor's centre, but at the moment, only outdoor walking is permitted. Fine by us - it took us a few hours just to walk (and climb!) around the entire grounds that scale a tall hill.
We absolutely loved exploring this enchanting place - two thousand years of history provide a deep-seated importance here and there's plenty to discover. Plus, the views from high up on the hill are quite something!