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January 5
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Canon
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Canon PowerShot G15
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Jan 1, 2014, 3:03:07 PM
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The Citadel-City of Huy by kanyiko The Citadel-City of Huy by kanyiko

Huy, January 1st 2014.


I never actually got into the city of Huy when I visited it on the first of January (while I did take the train to the city, I only took it to... well, take the train, actually - Huy is one of the only cities in Belgium accessible via a railway circle-route), and anyway, as it was New Year's Day, everything in the city save for the bakeries was closed anyway.


But I digress.  Huy is one of four major Belgian cities on the Meuse river (the other three being Dinant, Liège and Namur), all of which were heavily fortified for historical reasons.  All four towns also have a Citadel - a star-shaped fortress - which overlooks and (in the case of Dinant, Huy and Namur, less so in the case of Liège) dominates the skyline of the town.


The Citadel of Huy was built in 1818 under Dutch rule, at the spot where the fort Li Tchestia had stood from the 9th century until its demolition by the people of Huy in 1715.  It was never used in anger as a defensive fortress; instead it was mainly used as a military camp by the Belgian Army.  Both during World War I and World War II, the fortress was used by the Germans as a prison; during World War I it first held German deserters, and then Russian Prisoners of War (ironically, "Huy" appears to be one of the rudest words in Russian...) ; however during World War II it became infamous as a prison camp of the Reichssicherheitsdienst, where political prisoners were held, tortured and executed.  Today, the fort is a museum which commemmorates the victims of the Nazi regime, and the heroes of the Resistance.


Standing below the Citadel, the Collégiale Notre-Dame de Huy (Church of Our Lady of Huy) was built between 1311 and 1536.  It stands at the same location of the previous churches (five!) of Huy, and incorporates the crypt of the (fourth) Roman church that was destroyed by fire in 1053.  The building was gutted by fire in 1803, and damaged in an allied bombing in 1944.  It is currently under restoration - that is, it has always been under restoration since the fire that gutted it in 1803...!!

:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Another good view, and the history is fascinating.  'By their fruits shall ye know them...' German imperialists and militarists left everything they touched bloodstained...
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