On the road
With a population of 500,000 spread over 38 towns, the Namur Province is one of the least populated in Belgium with only 4.3 pc of the total population. The economy is mainly produced by small businesses specialised in building or services. The Namur province was created in 1795 when part of Belgium rallied the French Revolution. The French department of Sambre-et-Meuse was then created on the remnants of the Namur county and the Liege principality.
Walloon Brabant Province
The Brabant split in 1995 turned the Walloon Brabant into the smallest province in the Walloon region with 375,000 inhabitants. With Wavre as its capital, the province lives under the influence of Brussels and is often its suburban extension.
With no less than eleven World Heritage sites or events, the Hainaut Province is Belgium’s first province in terms of monuments and takes great care of its historical buildings. The Cathedral of Tournai, the belfries of Binche, Charleroi, Mons, Thuin and Tournai, the historical Canal du Centre and its hydraulic boat-lifts, the Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes are among the exceptional sites to visit. Events such as the carnival of Binche, the Ath and Mons “ducasse” festivities are also worth a visit. Museums, castles, folklore and cuisine are also part of the strong identity of the province. Mons (Bergen) will be European capital of culture in 2015.
Km 22.5 : Crisnée
Crisnee is located in the heart of the gorgeous Hesbaye plateau, close to the border with the Limburg province. The village retained its rural character with a picturesque hilly landscape and is renowned as a floral town. Its most distinctive monument is the farm-castle close to the Romanesque St Pierre de Thiy church, which once was the home of the lords of Thys. The castle was used as headquarters by the Duke of Marlborough in 1703.
Castle of Odeur
This remarkable farm-castle was transformed in the late 18th century from an older 16th century core (a stone bears the date 1570). It was the property of the Odeur, Velroux and Sacre families. The old church tower is now integrated in the castle.
Jersey wearers after the stage 9
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