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. 

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Joute sur échasses de Namur, ©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.

Jeune échasseur namurois de la brigade junior

Becoming a stilt walker

This page only exists in French.

Gros plan sur sur les échasses de joute, ©Dominique Pire

Our stilts in detail

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

La toute grande foule pour la joute de l’échasse d’or, ©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.

Un peu partout dans Namur, des femmes et jeunes filles s'entraînent à la joute sur échasses, (c)Aurore Lumaye

Women's stilt jousts

This page only exists in French.

joute sur échasses au cœur du vieux Namur, ©Skuds – Simon Fusillier


The Namur stilt jousts are candidates to be on the list of UNESCO cultural heritage.

This page only exists in French.

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