The Stilt Walkers of Namur

600 years of stilt jousts in Namur (Belgium)

Since 1411, two stilt walkers’ teams of Namur have confronted one another relentlessly. On the one side, the ‘Mélans’ who carry yellow and black stilts  and represent the old city. On the other, the ‘Avresses’, climbed on red and white stilts, representing the new town and the suburbs. Their spectacular jousts have pleased Emperors and Kings. Charles the Fifth, Louis XIV, Peter the Great from Russia, Napoleon… all of them attended a stilt walkers’ fight given by the Stilt walkers of Namur. Nowadays, the stilt walkers still joust on stilts and perpetuate this living heritage which is the pride of Namur. Since December 16, 2021, Namur stilt jousting has been included on the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity (UNESCO).

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Namur stilt jousting, ©Skuds - Simon Fusillier


A living heritage and a rich history. Since 1411 and until the present day, jousting on stilts has made the heart of Namur beat faster. Discover the Namur stilts jousts and their history.

Young stilt jousters in Namur, ©Skuds - Simon Fusillier

Becoming a stilt walker

This page only exists in French.

Focus on the Namur jousting stilts, ©Dominique Pire

Our stilts in detail

The Namur stilts model has evolved over the centuries to adapt to jousting. More about our jousting stilts.

A large audience attends the joust of the golden stilt, ©André Dubuisson

The Golden Stilt

The Joust for the Golden Stilt takes place on the third Sunday of September during the Wallonia festivities. This joust is the most prestigious and popular of all. More about the Golden Stilt.

Young ladies training on stilts in Namur, (c)Aurore Lumaye

Women's stilt jousts

This page only exists in French.

Stilt walkers fight in Namur, Belgium ©Skuds – Simon Fusillier

Heritage of humanity

Namur stilt jousting are inscribed on the representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
This page only exists in French.

Stilt walkers combat in Namur, Belgium.  ©Skuds -Simon Fusillier

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Learning stilt jousting at school. Ecole Ste Marie de Suarlée.


This page only exists in French.

Namur stilt jousting on Wikipedia

Need more information ? Discover Namur stilt jousting on wikipedia

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