Located on the river Meuse in central Belgium, the city of Ardenne is a vibrant cultural centre in the province of Namur. Although it has a mere 26,000 inhabitants, this charming city surrounded by rolling hills plays host to numerous festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Highlights include the Carnival of Bears held in March, where the city’s inhabitants don bear costumes and have a confetti battle. The festival began 60 years ago and is based on a local legend in which a young boy, believed to be future Frankish statesman Charles Martel, killed the bear that was terrorising the city’s inhabitants in the eighth century. It culminates with the king and queen of the carnival throwing hundreds of toy bears from a balcony into the crowds below.

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