Exploring Saxophone City (Dinant, Belgium)

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Suggested song for this post;
(more songs below in our Dinant playlist)

 

 

 

A Little About DINANT…

Dinant, Belgium is definitely one funky town! Known for it’s relation to Belgian born saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax, the city is full of jazz music and tributes to the man himself.

The name Dinant comes from the Celtic “Divo Nanto” – meaning ‘sacred/devine valley.’

The city is also known for it’s survival – being victim of many battles in it’s lifetime. The most popular being between France and Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries, and then again during the first world war.

On August 23, 674 people from the town were executed by troops of the German Army – this was the biggest massacre committed by the German’s that year.

Tourist sites for the war history buffs include the Citadel, which was built in the 11th century. During the wars, Dinant endured famine, suffering, epidemics and destruction – depsite being a neutral city.

The city’s main landmark is the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant. It was rebuilt on it’s old foundations after falling rocks destroyed it in 1227.


WHAT TO DO…

Tourist sites for the music lover are far more common, such as Adolphe’s childhood home, the infamous saxophone bridge and the Adolphe Sax statue, which are all visited by thousands each year.

Music has been forever changed by the invention of the saxophone in 1840. From Frank Sinatra in the 1950s to Alexandra Stan in the 2000s, that smooth sax sound has been added to track after track and never gets old!

 

Most of the local pubs/bars have jazz night’s due to being the birthplace of Adolphe Sax. Grab a friend, have some beers and listen to that smooth jazz all night.

 

The Citadel tour is educational and worth doing, as it is complimentary upon entrance of the Citadel. The tour is only offered in French, with multilingual information pamphlets available for others to follow along.

Tour of La Merveilleuse Groot (Cave) is definitely worth the 8 euro entry fee! One of my favourite parts of this 2 day trip to Dinant, we found ourselves winding down to -50 feet below the city, travelling through the 65 million year old cave on a guided, educational tour.

 

Saxophone Bridge is located in the centre of the touristy-downtown area. You can’t miss it, and it’s great for photo-ops! A great view of the bridge is seen from the look-out points in the Citadel above the city.

 

Church of Notre Dame de Dinant is a great place to find some peace and reconnect with your spirituality for a few silent moments.

 

EXTRA TIP: Try the beers of Dinant – Saxo and Caracole – offered in many pubs or restaurants.

 

KAYAK. For the love of all things adventurous, our kayak down the River Lesse was the highlight of our 2 day trip. Beautiful wooded river ways filled with a few rapids to get that heart pumping – you can do a 12km or 21km trek. DO THIS. You will have an amazing time.

 

 

 

BONUS! 

Our Sax Soundtrack For Touring Around Dinant;

Old Time Rock & Roll – Bob Seiger (One of the best tunes.)
Mr. Saxobeat – Alexandra Stan (A funky approach.)
My Way Instrummental – Frank Sinatra (Smooth.)
The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (You need more then one Sinatra song.)
Problem – Ariana Grande (yes, that beautiful beginning is a saxophone.)
Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga (absolute beauty of a solo by Clarence Clemon.)
Jungleland Sax Solo – Clarence Clemon (speaking of Clarence, this solo is one of his best.)
Who Can It Be Now? – Men at Work (That course saxophone is perfect.)
Careless Whisper – George Michael/WHAM (The beginning sax riff is iconic, I gaurantee you’ve heard it before.)
Someone Like You – Michael Stanley Band (The beginning of this song is reason enough to have it on this list.)
Dancing in The Dark – Dev (I am in love with this song AND it has an amazing sax part. Good way to end the soundtrack.)

 

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