Belgium: Mons

Mons (also known as Bergen in Flemish) was an important city in a trade route between Paris and Brussels. Mons origins go back to the 7th century and it was a major city in the 13-14th century, given its elevated location and fortifications built around it. Many attractions are centered around the Grand-Place de Mons square (typical of many Belgian towns) – ornate Hôtel de Ville city hall (1458), highly-decorated Toison d’Or House (1615) and the Chapel of St. George (1604). Rays of hilly cobblestone streets radiate from here in different directions. The most famous landmark in Mons is the Belfry, located on a castle hill above the city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Belfry is 87 m high, built between 1661-1672. It is the only Baroque belfry in Belgium, with a carillon of 47 bells. It’s totally worth climbing up to the top of the belfry for panoramic views of the entire Mons city.