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The Burbant Tower

At the heart of the town of Ath, explore the Middle Ages... and discover Baldwin IV’s keep

A fortified keep

A massive tower, almost 20 metres high and 14 metres wide. Walls that are in places 4 metres thick ! The Burbant Tower is an outstanding military stronghold.

It had a highly strategic role for Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut, who began the construction of this powerful keep in 1166. He needed to defend the border regions to the north of his earldom, which were highly coveted by the neighbouring lords.

A medieval castle

The tower is the nerve centre of the medieval castle. It is surrounded by a number of functional buildings (accommodation, workshops, etc.) forming the inner courtyard. An outer courtyard, protected by strong ramparts and a surrounding moat, complete the building.

The birth of a town

Beyond the castle, farmsteads were built and a market grew up, encouraging trade to develop. The town was protected by ramparts. Churches, hospitals, market buildings and schools all helped to create a real town!

From the heights of the keep, visitors can see all the present-day town. The main public buildings testify to the urban development; the contours of the town were laid down on Vauban’s ancient fortifications.

By surviving all the hazards of time, the Burbant Tower has become a superb educational space. The site is unique: it comes to life, its stones live and transmit their history down the ages!

The Anglo-Norman Burbant Tower is listed as a major heritage monument of Wallonia.


The visit can be completed, on request, by a guided-tour of the town.

For more details, please contact the Ath Tourist Office.


Address: Rue du Gouvernement, 7800 Ath

Opening hours: Visits all through the year by reservation.


Guided visit:

Adults: €4.50/pers.
Children: €3.50/child

Teachers: free

The Burbant Tower