Gembloux is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur, on the axis Brussels–Namur On 1 January 2006 the municipality had 21,964 inhabitants. The total area is 95.86 km², yielding a population density of 229 inhabitants per km². The mayor, elected on 8 October 2006, is Benoît Dispa; this city is well known for its cutlery. The university is housed in the historical Abbey of Gembloux. Gembloux's belfry belongs to the set of belfries of Belgium and France inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2005; the town grew around the Gembloux Abbey, founded in the tenth century. In the vicinity of the town, in 1578, the Battle of Gembloux was fought during the Eighty Years' War. In May 1940 the Battle of Hannut and the Battle of the Gembloux Gap took place nearby, tank battles during the larger Battle of France. Gembloux is composed by the sections of Gembloux, Bossière, Corroy-le-Château, Grand-Leez, Grand-Manil, Lonzée, Mazy & Sauvenière; the Marquess of Trazegnies d'Ittre Christophe Szpajdel, sketch artist Gembloux is twinned with - Épinal, France: since 1974 - Loughborough, United Kingdom: since 1993 - Skyros, Greece: since 1994 - Aller, Spain: since 2007 List of protected heritage sites in Gembloux Crealys Science Park Gembloux official site
Bièvre is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur. On 1 January 2006 the municipality had 3,151 inhabitants; the total area is 109.59 km², giving a population density of 29 inhabitants per km². The municipality consists of the following sub-municipalities: Bièvre proper, Bellefontaine, Graide, Gros-Fays, Monceau-en-Ardenne, Naomé, Petit-Fays. List of protected heritage sites in Bièvre Media related to Bièvre at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Namur is a city and municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the province of Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of Wallonia, Walloon Government and administration. Namur stands at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers and straddles three different regions – Hesbaye to the north, Condroz to the south-east, Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse to the south-west; the city of Charleroi is located to the west. The language spoken is French; the City of Namur includes the old communes of Beez, Saint-Servais, Saint-Marc, Champion, Flawinne, Suarlée, Vedrin, Cognelée, Gelbressée, Marche-les-Dames, Jambes, Naninne, Wépion, Erpent, Lives-sur-Meuse, Loyers. The town began as an important trading settlement in Celtic times, straddling east-west and north-south trade routes across the Ardennes; the Romans established a presence. Namur came to prominence during the early Middle Ages when the Merovingians built a castle or citadel on the rocky spur overlooking the town at the confluence of the two rivers.
In the 10th century, it became a county in its own right. The town developed somewhat unevenly, as the counts of Namur could only build on the north bank of the Meuse - the south bank was owned by the bishops of Liège and developed more into the town of Jambes. In 1262, Namur fell into the hands of the Count of Flanders, was purchased by Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy in 1421. After Namur became part of the Spanish Netherlands in the 1640s, its citadel was strengthened. Louis XIV of France invaded in 1692, annexing it to France, his renowned military engineer Vauban rebuilt the citadel. French control was short-lived, as William III of Orange-Nassau captured Namur only three years in 1695 during the War of the Grand Alliance. Under the Barrier Treaty of 1709, the Dutch gained the right to garrison Namur, although the subsequent Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 gave control of the Spanish Netherlands to the Austrian House of Habsburg. Thus, although the Austrians ruled the town, the citadel was controlled by the Dutch.
It was rebuilt again under their tenure. General Jean-Baptiste Cyrus de Valence's column laid siege to the city on 19 November 1792 during the War of the First Coalition and, after 12 days, the city surrendered on 1 December and its whole garrison of 3,000 men was taken prisoner. France invaded the region again in 1794, imposing a repressive regime. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Congress of Vienna incorporated what is now Belgium into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Belgium broke away from the Netherlands in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution, Namur continued to be a major garrison town under the new government; the citadel was rebuilt yet again in 1887. Namur was a major target of the German invasion of Belgium in 1914, which sought to use the Meuse valley as a route into France. On August 21, 1914, the Germans bombarded the town of Namur without warning. Several people were killed. Despite being billed as impregnable, the citadel fell after only three days' fighting and the town was occupied by the Germans for the rest of the war.
Namur fared little better in World War II. The town suffered heavy damage in both wars. Namur continued to host the Belgian Army's paratroopers until their departure in 1977. After the creation of the Walloon Region, Namur was chosen as the seat of its executive and parliament. In 1986, Namur was declared capital of Wallonia, its position as regional capital was confirmed by the Parliament of Wallonia in 2010. Namur is an important commercial and industrial centre, located on the Walloon industrial backbone, the Sambre and Meuse valley, it produces machinery, leather goods and porcelain. Its railway station is an important junction situated on the north-south line between Brussels and Luxembourg City, the east-west line between Lille and Liège. River barge traffic passes through the middle of the city along the Meuse. Namur has taken on a new role as the capital of the federal region of Wallonia, its location at the head of the Ardennes has made it a popular tourist centre, with a casino located in its southern district on the left bank of the Meuse.
The town's most prominent sight is the citadel, open to the public. Namur has a distinctive 18th-century cathedral dedicated to Saint Aubain and a belfry classified by UNESCO as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France which are listed as a World Heritage Site; the Couvent des Soeurs de Notre-Dame used to contain masterpieces of Mosan art by Hugo d'Oignies presented in the Musée des Arts Anciens. Elsewhere there is a museum dedicated to Félicien Rops. An odd Namurois custom is the annual Combat de l'Échasse d'Or, held on the third Sunday in September. Two teams, the Mélans and the Avresses, dress in medieval clothes while standing on stilts and do battle in one of the town's principal squares. Namur possesses a distinguished university, the University of Namur, founded in 1831; the University of Louvain has several facilities in the city through its UCLouvain Namur University Hospital. Since 1986 Namur has been home to the Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film. A jazz and a rock festival both take place in Namur annually.
The local football team is
Spy is a village in the municipality of Jemeppe-sur-Sambre near Namur, Belgium. Here in 1886, in Betche aux Roches cavern, Maximin Lohest and Marcel de Puydt found two nearly perfect Neanderthal skeletons at the depth of 16 feet, with numerous implements of the Mousterian type. Yves Saquet found a third skeleton of the same age. Grotte de Spy Media related to Spy, Belgium at Wikimedia Commons
Beauraing is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur. On January 1, 2006, Beauraing had a total population of 8,344; the total area is 174.55 km², giving a population density of 48 inhabitants per km². The municipality of Beauraing was created in 1977 from the fusion of Beauraing, Dion, Feschaux, Froidfontaine, Javingue, Martouzin-Neuville, Pondrôme, Vonêche, Wancennes and Winenne. Beauraing is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics since five children and young adults reported 33 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary between November 29, 1932, January 3, 1933; the sobriquet applied to these apparitions is Our Lady of the Virgin of the Golden Heart. The apparitions are among those which are sanctioned by the Church. List of protected heritage sites in Beauraing Media related to Beauraing at Wikimedia Commons Sanctuary of Our Lady of Beauraing
Sambreville is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur. On January 1, 2006, Sambreville had a total population of 26,949; the total area is 34.20 km² which gives a population density of 788 inhabitants per km². Arsimont Auvelais Falisolle Keumiée Moignelée Tamines VelaineTamines is associated with the Rape of Belgium. At least 384 townspeople were massacred, including children. Gessopalena, Italy List of protected heritage sites in Sambreville Media related to Sambreville at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Hamois is a Walloon municipality and village located in the Belgian province of Namur. The village is around 25 km south-east of the city of Namur. On 1 January 2006 the municipality had 6,640 inhabitants; the total area is 76.42 km2, giving a population density of 87 inhabitants per km2. Mouffrin Castle in Gemenne and Ry Castle are both in Hamois, continue to be in the possession of the noble Lynden family. Apart from Hamois itself, the municipality comprises the villages of: Achet Emptinne Mohiville Natoye Schaltin Scy List of protected heritage sites in Hamois Media related to Hamois at Wikimedia Commons Official website