Dinant Citadel is an impressive defensive structure that sits atop a large rock overlooking the city. Explore the citadel’s corridors, dungeons and weapons museum for a fascinating trip that covers more than 900 years of the city’s past.
The first fort on this site was built in the middle of the 11th century, while the current building dates back to the early 19th century. To reach the grand complex, walk up the 408 steps, which were installed in 1577. If that sounds like too much of a challenge, take the cable car instead. When you arrive at the summit, you will be 328 feet (100 meters) above the city. From here, the views of Dinant and the River Meuse are staggering.
Venture inside and browse artifacts, dioramas and information panels that cover key moments in Dinant’s history. Among the topics that are explored is the sacking of the city in the 15th century by Charles the Bold.
Visit the kitchen and the bakery to learn about the daily life of the soldiers who were stationed here. Stop by the small weapons museum and then go to the space dedicated to the battles of August 1914. The citadel and its surrounding area witnessed fierce skirmishes between German and French troops and more than 600 civilians were massacred. Also within the fort’s environs are parts of old cannons and cannonballs.
The citadel is above the eastern bank of the La Meuse River in the heart of Dinant. In addition to the cable car and steps, it can also be reached by road. Two free parking lots are available for drivers.
Dinant Citadel is open throughout the year, although times vary according to the season. Check the official website of the citadel for the most up-to-date information. The main season is between April and September, during which time daily guided tours are available. Admission charges apply with discounts for children aged between 4 and 12.