23km (14 miles) S of Namur

A bustling riverside resort town, Dinant (pop. 13,000) has suffered from history's turmoil. In 1466, in reprisal for a rebellion, Duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold razed the town and drowned 800 citizens, tied up in pairs and thrown from the Citadel into the Meuse. In a chilling echo, the World War I German army executed 700 citizens when its troops were fired on in the town. A reminder of Dinant's military past is never far from view, for the Citadel dating from 1530 that crowns a bluff 100m (328 ft.) high dominates the skyline.

Despite all the bloodshed, the town developed such skill in working dinanderie (hammered copper) that its engravings were widely sought after as early as the 13th century. Charles the Bold's ruthlessness put a stop to such artistry, but in recent years the skill has come back to life, and you'll find fine examples of engravings in town stores.

Just outside town is Abbaye de Leffe (Leffe Abbey), one of several Belgian abbeys that combine their spiritual calling with brewing beer.