Mons Memorial Museum

Top choice in Wallonia

This superb museum mostly covers Mons' experience of the two world wars, though the constant sieges of this town's turbulent history are also mentioned. It gets the balance just right between military history, personal testimony of civilians and soldiers, and thought-provoking items on display. Some seriously good visuals make the to-and-fro (and the years spent stuck in the mud) of WWI instantly comprehensible, and there's an animated 3D film on the legend of the Angels of Mons.

Mons was the scene of the first British involvement in WWI, and its liberation coincided with the end of the conflict. In between, the city lived through a four-year German occupation, an experience it relived just 22 years later. The museum's strength is its focus on the human side of war, whether through soldiers' diaries or the day-to-day hardships of civilians. Poignant items are numerous, including a cross made by locals for a German and an English soldier buried together, and the tombstone of the last WWI soldier killed, two minutes before the armistice.