Do you enjoy strolling in the shade of sumptuous listed façades? Touring buildings with an exceptional past and finding out their history? When architecture makes a district, a city, sublime, nobody’s left indifferent. With guides from the Tourist Offices or alone, set off to explore the Cities of Art of Hainaut.
Take your seat at one of the outdoor cafés on the Grand-Place of Mons, and admire its richly detailed architecture. The city hall is worth a detour by itself. Climb to the top of the Belfry, and you’ll discover the roofs of Old Mons as they blend with the rural slagheap landscape of the Borinage. As you stand at the foot of the Sainte-Waudru collegiate church, dozens of gargoyles watch you. The city centre is entirely paved in the manner of Flemish towns. Mons is the cultural capital of Wallonia! And while the exceptional range at Mons’s museums is impressive, the architecture of the city of the Doudou is all the more so.
Discover a thousand-year-old city shaped by the numerous architectural currents that have dominated the eras. Tournai offers us a range that extends from the Roman and Gothic styles to Art Nouveau, from the classicism desire by Louis XIV to the very specific style that characterises post-war Tournai. Don’t miss Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Belfry, both listed by UNESCO, the fortresses of the town that still exist here and there. In Tournai façades, architecture lovers will read the Baroque, Italian, Flemish influences that have guided the construction of these buildings: square and imposing buildings, façades with crenellated gables... Tournai has plenty of surprises in store for enthusiasts of the genre!
Lose yourself in Charleroi, exploring an era where wealth was displayed on mansion walls. Raise your eyes and discover the listed Art Nouveau residences crafted last century by renowned architects inspired by Paul Hankart and his contemporaries. Enthusiasts will admire the numerous graffiti, so many jewels of Carolo architecture. Stroll beneath the impressive glasswork of the Passage de la Bourse... Visit the Tourist Office to find out the next guided “Art Nouveau” tour.
La Louvière is a fairly young town. It was built essentially in the 19th and 20th centuries, at a time when flourishing industrial activity made the fortunes of the Hainaut middle classes. All of the town’s arteries comprise impressive mansions. Modernism inspired numerous buildings in the town centre: the town hall, the old swimming pool and its fresco designed by Taf Wallet, its old renovated theatre will convince you of this.