View Full Version : Uncanny similarities between cities on the mid-Rhine and mid-Meuse valleys

23-12-11, 16:25
The Rhine and Meuse (Maas) are almost twin rivers. They are both of similar length (1233 km against 950 km) and both flow from south to north, springing north of the Alps and draining into the North Sea side by side in Holland. Both are also seen as the traditional western boundary of Germany.

What few people know, even locals from these regions, is how cities on the Rhine have their analogous counterparts on the Meuse. At least three pairs of them share striking resemblances :

1) Heildeberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidelberg) and Dinant (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/dinant.shtml) : both cities are built in a very hilly part of their respective river valley, sprawling on both sides on the river with one central bridge and a tall church dominating the landscape. Heidelberg has its huge castle on one flank of the hill, while Dinant has its citadel on one side and a large castle-like building on the other. Both were Celtic strongholds before being taken over by the Romans. The architecture of the local houses (especially the larger mansions) is also surprisingly alike.



2) Koblenz (http://www.eupedia.com/germany/koblenz.shtml) and Namur (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/namur.shtml) : both were founded by the Romans at the confluence of two main rivers, with a large fortress/citadel taking all the triangular hill within the acute angle of the confluence. Both cities are of similar size and had a Jesuit influence and notable Baroque architecture.



3) Mainz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainz) and Liège (Lüttich) (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/liege.shtml) : Both are former prince-bishoprics and are the largest cities of their respective regions (Rhineland-Palatinate and Wallonia). Both are famous for their churches and each as one white-and-red Romanesque church that look quite similar. The best of all is that both cities are unique in their respective river valleys in having a lot of islands, including two (in each case) that are built on.

23-12-11, 17:14
Incredible. Very photogenic small cities. Too bad that I've never been there.