Dinant is a small town with big attractions to make a stop here worthwhile. Here are our reviews of Dinant attractions.
We visited Dinant as part of a tour we booked on Viator from our base in Brussels to Luxembourg. The charming city of Dinant was a stop on the way. Dinant played an important role in various wars because of its location on the Meuse River. It’s also famous for saxophones and Leffe beer. More on the saxophones later. Our first stop was near an adventure park.
Our tour made a brief stop outside Dinant Évasion, an adventure park. Sitting atop the same hill as the Dinant Citadel overlooking Dinant itself, the park offers nature walks, cycling, kayaking, climbing, a suspension bridge, zip lines, paintball and the like.
We didn’t go into the park but heard lots of good reasons to come back. If you like to add adventure and physical activity to your travels, make a stop here.
Charles de Gaulle Bridge
The bridge is named for the famous French general who became the president of the French Republic. But the locals call it the saxophone bridge.
The larger-than-life saxophones were created in 2010 in a tribute to the countries of the European Union. Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in 1841 in Dinant, so the city justifiably is proud of their famous citizen.
The bridge crosses the Meuse River, which was an important crossing because the river flows through a smaller gorge and is protected by the Dinant Citadel overlooking the river.
Most people ignore the history of Dinant and come for the saxophones on the bridge. But an impressive statue of Charles de Gaulle stands adjacent to the bridge honoring its namesake.
Statue Charles de Gaulle
We certainly knew of Charles de Gaulle, the famous French general who became the President of the French Republic. There is a bridge in Dinant named after him, but everyone knows the bridge more familiarly as the saxophone bridge. That’s because saxophones adorn it in honor of Dinant’s famous citizen, Adolph Sax, the inventory of the saxophone.
We were glad to see this statue of Charles de Gaulle on one side of the bridge. Dinant was a strategic town during World War II. French and German soldiers fought many battles here because the bridge was a strategic crossing of the Meuse River. The statue is a tribute to the French, who fought alongside the Belgians.
Statue Adolphe Sax
The Statue of Adolphe Sax is adjacent to the Maison Adolphe Sax and honors the inventor of the saxophone and a proud citizen of Dinant. Mr. Sax is a bronze statue comfortably sitting on a park bench in front of his own house. It’s a great photo opportunity.
Maison Adolphe Sax
If you have ever wondered about the history of the saxophone, this museum is for you. Maison Adolf Sax is a small museum occupying the home of Mr. Sax. It’s worth your time. While you don’t want to miss the saxophone bridge, this museum explains more about the man himself. And it’s free!
Square du Treizieme de Ligne and Antoine Wiertz Statue
Travelers often miss this statue of Antoine Wiertz. It sits about a 10-minute walk north from the Charles de Gaulle bridge. As we walked along the Meuse River away from the Maison Adolphe Sax, we saw another bridge. Next to it there is the small Square du Treizieme de Ligne, where you can see the statue of Wiertz. It’s dedicated to the Belgian romantic painter and sculptor from the early the 19th century, who lived between 1806 and 1865.
Notre Dame de Dinant
We didn’t go into the Notre Dame de Dinant, but it surely is impressive. Dating to 13th century, this Gothic cathedral replaced a 10th century church. Its beauty proved worthy of lots of photos, especially with the Dinant Citadel looming above it.
Historians note Dinant was established as early as the seventh century. It’s location on the Meuse River made it a target of a lot of battles throughout its history.
The Dinant Citadel was built as a fortress in 1815 on a site originally fortified in 1051. It’s an impressive site perched above the city like a sentinel.
We loved the little town of Dinant and would have like to spend more time there. The saxophones and locals make this a very interesting place to visit.