DINANT, a town of Belgium, at the head of an arrondissement in the province of Namur, about twelve miles south of Namur, oti the railwa,y between that city and Givet. It occupies a narrow site between the River Meuse and a. rocky limestone hill which is crowned by a castle; its streets are consequently short and crowded, aud a considerable number of its houses are built on terraces cut out on the declivity. A cathedral of the 13th century, richly decorated in the interior, two hospitals, and a Latin school are its principal buildings ; a.nd among its industrial establishments are paper-mills, glass-factories, salt-retineries, oil-mills, flour-mills, and works for the cutting and polish-ing of the black marble which is quarried in the neighbour-hood. Population in 1866, 6428.
Dinant is a place of great antiquity. A church was consecrated there in 558, and a second in 604. It did not, however, rise to any importance till the llth century. In the 12th century it was reckoned a place of great strength, and had attained considerable wealth by means of its industry, especially in the manufacture of copper wares, which Ns-ere familiarly known as Dinanderie. In 1466 Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, took and destroyed the town and its fortifications ; but, three years later, his successor, Charles, allowed it to be rebuilt. It was taken and pillaged by the French in 1554, and again in 1675. By the treaty of Ityswick 1697 it was restored to the Bishop of Liege, but it was agaiu taken by the French in 1794, and became the capital of an arrondissement in the department of Sambre-et-Meuse.