Regional Overview

The Wallonian Dowry

Hainaut is an Imperial County named after the ancient Franconian Henne-Gau. I also included the Imperial territories of the Bishopric of Cambrai. These French-speaking lands would never fully assert their independence, being passed between different families. Their artistic traditions reflect their role as a borderland between the French and Dutch-speaking lands.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Brabantine Gothic and connections to the Lowlands. The county was proud of its independence and styles were chosen to emphasize civic pride.
  • Lowland Renaissance: Hainaut reached its height in the 16th century, and its cities preserve to some extent the glories of this period.
  • The Belgian Nation: Hainaut was the industrial core of the new nation, and the architecture of industrialization is evident, e.g. urban parks, Historicism and industry sites.




Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel My suggested travel destinations with the top three destinations highlighted.

What is Hainaut?

The County of Hainaut covers the French-speaking region between the Scheldt and Maas Rivers. It extends into modern-day France to cover the ancient Bishopric of Cambrai and the ancient capital of Hainaut, Valenciennes. The region is known today mostly for its post-industrial wastelands around cities that largely did not survive WWII, esp. Valenciennes and Charleroi. That being said, there is much to see in the Medieval cities of Cambrai and Mons and the many castle towns and palaces scattered throughout the old County.

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

5.8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 6
  • Transportation: 6
  • Volume/Capacity: 8
  • Infrastructure: 5
  • Interactivity: 4

4.7 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 3
  • Monuments: 7
  • Quality: 4

8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 10
  • Tradition: 6


The Imperial Lowlands

A diverse land united only by geography

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