Stretching over the narrow banks of the River Meuse, Dinant is a city in the Wallonia district, of Belgium. Although the area was inhabited since the Neolithic age, it was first mentioned as a settlement in the 7th century. The Count of Namur took over the administration of the town in 870. Later in the eleventh century, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV granted the city to the Prince-Bishop of Liège. The Prince-Bishops built the first stone bridge over the river and repaired the castle’s defenses, thus creating the citadel in 1530.
Due to its geopolitical location, the city encountered several attacks. One of the worst ones was of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy whose army drowned 800 residents in the river and burned down the town while suppressing a rebellion in 1466. Later, a French army under Marshal de Créquy occupied the city in 1675 and demolished the citadel in 1703. The city suffered further damage during the First World War with the Battle of Dinant which resulted in the German occupation of the town and the massacre of 674 civilians.
The Gothic-style Church of Our Lady of Dinant is a prominent landmark of the city. Rebuilt in 1821, the citadel stands over the rocky cliff that rises above the church. There is also a flight of 408 steps connecting the church and the citadel. The Bayard Rock, a massive needle of rock, is another landmark in the town. According to a twelfth-century legend, a giant horse that carried the Four Sons of Aymon separated the rock from the cliff while escaping from Charlemagne’s army.