The Grand Place in Mons

Grand Place in Mons

The Grand-Place in Mons is the social center and meeting point of inhabitants and tourists of this city. There, you can find good part of his more historical heritage; but first of all, I advise you, always in this kind of places, to stand in the center of the place and discover all its monuments looking around. You will be able to see buildings that go from the XV to the XVIII centuries, most of them of dark color and with many valious windows, all of them from Neo-Clasical style to Gothic between other ones.

It seems incredible that a city which has suffered so many wars, sieges and foreign occupation can still have so many buildings of the XVII and XVIII centuries. Among these buildings we have to highlight the Chapel of Saint Georges, one of the oldest buildings in the square. It was built in 1604 and today offers various temporary exhibitions. In the same time, specifically 1615, we have the Maison de la Toison d’Or, and from 1841 the theater of Mons.

Façade of the Town Hall of Mons

Façade of the Town Hall of Mons

However, that one which always draws more attention to all the world in this Grand Place of Mons is the Hotel de Ville or Town Hall. It was built in 1458, although its current appearance dates from the eighteenth century. Built in late gothic style, it has a splendid baroque bell tower. Also, if you pay attention well, to the left of the main entrance is located the famous singe du Grand Garde, the little monkey of Mons, dating back to the fifteenth century and is one of the symbols of the city. It is said that if you stroke his head with your left hand, then you will get a year of happiness.

The Monkey of Mons

The Monkey of Mons

The interior of the town hall is really interesting, and could well be worth a visit. There are many rooms with fireplaces of the XV century, furniture, tapestries and paintings of the XVI and XVII centuries and in the back, a garden in which you will see the source of Le Ropieur, or the rogue, built in 1937. Also, in addition to the Conciergerie, an underground prison of 1512. As a curiosity you will also find the first American combat car that came in Mons on 2 September 1944.

After making this small tour you can sit down in one of the outdoor terraces that there are in the square to enjoy it much better. There are many coffe bars and restaurants in it, from which you can admire this cobbled square with its traditional architecture.

There, you will be able to think in all the historic events this place has lived along its life…

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