The stilt walkers of Namur

Birth Date :


Birth Place :

Namur , Belgium

Characteristic :

Stilt walkers' joust. Since 1411.


The “Avresses”, stilt walkers from the New City with the red and white colours, and the “Mélans”, stilt walkers from the Old City with the yellow and black stilts.

600 Years of History in 10 Milestones

  1. 08/12/1411 : First official document proving the existence of stiltwalkers fighting in Namur. The Count of Namur forbids stilt fighting for more than 13 years.
  2. 23/11/1515 : Stiltwalkers fight before the Emperor Charles-Quint
  3. 28/03/1549 : Fight before the King Philippe II of Spain
  4. 22/03/1669 : The combat at Carnaval is so epic that it inspires the Compte de Wallef to a « Heroic Poem» which he will publish in 1678
  5. 11/06/1693 : Stiltwalkers fight before the King of France Louis XIV
  6. 25/06/1717 : Stiltwalkers fight before the Tzar of Russia Pierre le Grand
  7. 03/08/1803 : Fight before Napoléon Bonaparte, First Consul
  8. 23/09/1849 : Stiltwalker fight before Léopold the First, King of Belgians
  9. 01/12/1940 : First edition of the journal de la résistance at Namur , « L’Echasseur »
  10. 08/12/2011 : After a festivities-filled year, the stilt walkers celebrate their 600th anniversary
stiltwalkers in 1717 - a combat for Pierre Le Grand from Russia

A good-living and unique folklore in the world

The Mélans and the Avresses continue to confront one another nowadays, just like their ancestors.

Several fights are given during the year in Namur. The peak is reached on the third Sunday of September, the day when the great Fight for the Golden Stilt takes place at the ‘Place Saint-Aubain’ (more about the Golden Stilt). In front of 6000 people, the winner receives the prestigious title of the best stilt fighter of the year.

Since 1937, the Stilt walkers have introduced their unique folklore all over the world for the greatest pleasure of the spectators (more about the international performances).


Adiè Nameur, adiè Sint-Rmè, adiè måjos
Adiè Gravêre, adiè Lîlon, adiè tortos,
Adiè chacheus adiè Avresse, adiè Mélan ;
Dji n' vos rvièrè pus jamês chachî tos les ans.