ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting Europe

Visiting the Charlemagne Viaduct, Dinant, over the Meuse River: the tallest viaduct in Belgium

Updated on October 8, 2012
Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
Dinant: Charlemage Viaduct over the Meuse
Dinant: Charlemage Viaduct over the Meuse | Source
Portrait of Charlemagne, engraving, end of 16th century
Portrait of Charlemagne, engraving, end of 16th century | Source
Map location of Dinant in Namur province
Map location of Dinant in Namur province | Source

Spanning heights and memories

The Charlemagne Viaduct (French: viaduc Charlemagne ), in its way, is impressive, as is the scenery over Belgium's Meuse River. And well it might be: at 80 metres high, it is Belgium's highest viaduct.

Built between 1979 and 1981, it came about as a logistical necessity. Dinant's narrow streets and summer traffic problems made it increasingly imperative that traffic be allowed to divert around the town. Accordingly, the Walloon Ministry of Amenities and Transportation (French: Ministère Wallon de l'Equipement et des Transports ) undertook this major project.

The striking height of the viaduct, executed in concrete and steel, was made a necessity by the topography around the Meuse River. Although in mountaineering terms the hills and rocks around Dinant are not especially high, yet the steep nature of the nearby rock-faces make rock-climbing a popular, local sport, as enterprising climbers regularly rise to the challenge of negotiating and conquering such outcrops of sheer rock as abound in the Meuse Valley (French: Vallée de la Meuse ) (1).

The Viaduct's length is 642 metres.

Local history and legends relating to Emperor Charlemagne (c.742-814) combined to make the name of the Viaduct seem appropriate to the authorities (2). The N97, carried across the Meuse by the Viaduct, is at this juncture known as Route Charlemagne .

Dinant is located in the Namur province, in Belgium's Walloon region (French: Région wallonne ). Personally — I used to live in Belgium — I think Dinant and district is among the most impressive places in Belgium.

October 8, 2012

Notes

(1) One such sportsman was Belgium's King Albert I (1875-1934; reigned 1909-1934), who, while rock-climbing in the Meuse Valley, tragically fell to his death in 1934. Belgium has no real mountains, but the French word alpinisme is certainly appropriate, given the existence of challenging topography for rock-climbers.

(2) To Canadians the name might seem vaguely familiar, and this may be because there is a bridge (named for Charles de Gaulle) at the Montreal, Quebec suburb of Charlemagne.

Also worth seeing

In Dinant itself, the Bayard Rock (close to the Viaduct) is a much visited landmark; the Collegiate church of Notre Dame is outstandingly impressive against a backdrop of sheer rock; the ancient Citadel overlooks the town.

...

How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Dinant : 94 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company SNCB - NMBS maintains a service between Brussels and Dinant . Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, you are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile image
      Author

      MJFenn 5 years ago

      Funom Makama3: The Dinant area is indeed interesting. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Funom Makama 3 profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 5 years ago from Europe

      This is such a lovely share.... It is an amazing hub and thanks for sharing. Voted up!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)