Namur, city, Belgium

Namur, Du. Namen, commune (1991 pop. 103,443), capital of Namur prov., S central Belgium, at the confluence of the Meuse and Sambre rivers. It is a commercial and industrial center as well as a rail junction. Manufactures include machinery, leather goods, and porcelain. It is also an episcopal center and a tourist attraction. Namur was a Merovingian fortress (first mentioned in the 7th cent.) and later (10th cent.) became the seat of a county. The county fell to the counts of Flanders in 1262 and in 1421 was bought by Philip the Good of Burgundy. It later shared the history of the Austrian and Spanish Netherlands. Because of its strategic location, Namur was frequently besieged. In the War of the Grand Alliance it fell (1692) to the French, but was retaken by the Dutch in 1695. The first Barrier Treaty (1709) gave the Netherlands the right to garrison Namur, a right confirmed by two further treaties (1713, 1715) that supplemented the Peace of Utrecht. Refortified in 1887, it served as a Belgian defense on the Meuse at the outset of World War I. Noteworthy are the Church of St. Loup (17th cent.) and St. Aubain Cathedral (18th cent.).

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