DINANT, de-naii or de-nant', Belgium, a town in the province of Namur, picturesquely situated on the Meuse, 17 miles south of the city of Namur. Notable buildings are the church of Notre Dame, an ancient and richly decorated structure, and the city hall, once the palace of the princes of Liege. The town con tains sawing-mills for working the black marble found in the vicinity; paper mills, carpet fac tories, breweries, tanneries, factories for the production of metal-wear and glassworks. In the Middle Ages, Dinant was famous for its copperware, or udinanderie.p The town was fortified as early as the 12th century. In 1466 Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, besieged it with 50,000 men; and having taken it by assault, razed it to the ground and threw 800 of its inhabitants, tied in pairs back to back, into the Meuse. In 1554 and again in 1675 it was captured by the French. On account of its quaintness and the beauty of its natural sur roundings Dinant had long been a popular sum mer resort. The town suffered severely in the European War.
On 15 Aug. 1914 an engagement was fought in the vicinity between French and German troops. More fighting occurred on 22 and 23 August. On the 21st the Germans began setting fire to the houses; batches of inhabitants were driven through the flaming streets at the point of the bayonet, with their hands held above their heads; hundreds were shot or bayonetted. Ac
cording to the Bryce Report (q.v.), "unarmed civilians were killed in masses . . . about 90 bodies were seen lying on the top of one another in a grass square opposite the con vent," It was also stated that 60 corpses of civilians were recovered from a hole in the brewery yard and that 48 bodies of women and children were found in a garden. The town was systematically set on fire by hand grenades. . . . The shooting of inhabitants, women and children as well as men, went on after the Ger mans had passed Dinant on their way into France. The houses and villages were pillaged and property wantonly A little tourist steamer on the Meuse was used to col lect pianos, pictures, clocks and pieces of fur niture from the villas lying on the river banks (Jean Massart, Royal Academy of Belgium).
At Fonds de Leffe, a suburb of Dinant, the population left behind comprised 251 men and boys. They were taken away on 23 Aug. 1914. Of these, eight escaped and 243 were put to death next day. The population of Dinant before the war was about 8,000. Con sult Hachez, 'Histoire de Dinant) (1894-96) ; Massart, J.