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Old Regime

The period from the Middle Ages to the First World War makes up about a fifth of the space of the permanent exhibition.
Owing to its strategic position, Mons has witnessed a great many conflicts throughout its history. Fortified since the 12th century, its history is interspersed with battles, sieges, great fires and periods of rebuilding. Occupied by external forces on numerous occasions, the town has also been home, in peace time, to a number of garrisons, positioned alongside residential areas. This necessary closeness between soldiers and citizens structured society in Mons in the shadow of the city walls. The independence achieved by the Kingdom of Belgium in 1830 marked the start of a long period of peace characterised by industrial progress, from which Mons and its surrounding region benefited considerably.

The evolution of the city walls up until their final destruction in 1871, the battles, sieges, successive occupations, revolutions and the establishment of the Garde Civique (Civic Guard) are all subjects dealt with in this space.

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