What to see in Mons - The monkey and the naughty boy

Just a few weeks ago we showed you the things to see in Mons, a city situated in the Wallonia Region of Belgium. But we haven’t told you anything about the secrets of Mons, and the main square, the Grande Place hides not just one of them.

Mons in Flemish means mountain, so it’s not surprising to find out that this little romantic town is situated on top of a hill. In the heart of the city, we found the spectacular Grande Place de Mons, which is a square that astonishes you as soon as you arrive there. It’s not only a wonderful square, where you can sit down in one of the bars for a nice Belgian beer, enjoying the view, but this place hides two of the well kept secrets of Mons.

The first secret of Mons is the little monkey

The secrets of Mons - The little monkey in the Grand Place

It’s not so easy to find the little monkey of Mons, it’s found to the left from the main entrance of the town hall. Compared with the impressive façade of the building, it is so small that it makes not so easy finding it.

There are several legends about how this monkey made of iron arrived here and what it represents. There are numerous theories: it’s a sculpture of a master, it’s the place where the criminals were taken to be publicly humiliated or it was a sign of an old tavern. Whatever the reason is for this monkey being here, it is very popular and the locals in Mons think it brings luck to them.

You have to caress the head of the monkey with your left hand, and the little monkey will bring you prosperity and good luck. The legend even says that if you are a girl who wants to get married and have babies, you can count on the magic power of the little monkey of Mons.

The little monkey - One of the secrets of Mons

Nevertheless, the monkey is not the only secret of Mons hidden by the Grande Place. In a place of tranquility in the heart of Mons, which is not frequented by most of the tourists either, you can find the gardens of the town hall. You just have to go through a large gate, which leads to a patio. Here you can see several important buildings, such as the BAM de Mons (The Fineart Museum of Mons) which exhibits paintings of Van Gogh who lived in the Borinage, an industrial area near Mons. The garden is an ideal place to sit down and enjoy its peaceful ambience.

Secrets of Mons - The gardens of the town hall

Here you can find another secret of Mons, the fountain Ropieur, made by Gobert in 1937, in which a “Naughty Boy” splash water at everyone passing by.

Naughty Boy - Secrets of Mons

The small city of Mons hides so many secrets and mysteries. Do you still doubt that is worth exploring the secrets of Mons?

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The hidden secrets of Mons Belgium - European Capital of Culture 2015The Secrets of Mons - European Capital of Culture 2015