Belfries of Belgium and France
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Belfry locations
LocationBelgium; north of France
Includes56 belfries
CriteriaCultural: (ii), (iv)
Reference943
Inscription1999 (23rd Session)
Extensions2005

The Belfries of Belgium and France are a group of 56 historical buildings designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in recognition of the civic (rather than church) belfries serving as an architectural manifestation of emerging civic independence from feudal and religious influences in the former County of Flanders (present-day French Flanders area of France and Flanders region of Belgium) and neighbouring areas which once were possessions of the House of Burgundy (in present-day Wallonia of Belgium).

The World Heritage Site was originally called the Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia, a 1999 UNESCO list of 32 towers in those two regions of Belgium. In 2005, the list was expanded and given its current name, recognizing the addition of 23 belfries from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy regions in the north-eastern tip of France, plus the belfry of Gembloux in Wallonia.

Despite the list being concerned with civic tower structures, it includes six Belgian church towers (note the "cathedral"s, "church"es and "basilica" in the list below) under the pretext that they had served as watchtowers or alarm bell towers.

Most of the structures in this list are towers projecting from larger buildings. However, a few are notably standalone, of which, a handful are rebuilt towers formerly connected to adjacent buildings. One notable omission may seem the tower of Brussels' Town Hall, but this is not an actual belfry. The original Belfry of Brussels was located next to the Church of St. Nicholas, until its collapse in 1714.[1] As a side note, Brussels' Town Hall is part of the Grand Place World Heritage Site.

List of belfries

Name and location[2] Municipality Province (BE) /
Department (FR)
Region Country Year inscribed UNESCO ID[2]
Schepenhuis, Aalst – Belfry and (Former) City Hall
50°56′19″N 4°02′19″E / 50.938678°N 4.038526°E / 50.938678; 4.038526
Aalst East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-001
Cathedral of Our Lady
51°13′14″N 4°24′02″E / 51.220468°N 4.400605°E / 51.220468; 4.400605
Antwerp Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-002
City Hall of Antwerp[a]
51°13′17″N 4°23′51″E / 51.221268°N 4.397624°E / 51.221268; 4.397624
Antwerp Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-003
Hallentoren belfry and halls of Bruges
51°12′30″N 3°13′29″E / 51.208197°N 3.224737°E / 51.208197; 3.224737
Bruges West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-004
City Hall with Belfry of Dendermonde
51°01′52″N 4°05′55″E / 51.031134°N 4.098594°E / 51.031134; 4.098594
Dendermonde East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-005
City Hall and Belfry of Diksmuide
51°02′01″N 2°51′52″E / 51.033716°N 2.864579°E / 51.033716; 2.864579
Diksmuide West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-006
City Hall with Belfry of Eeklo
51°11′05″N 3°33′59″E / 51.184636°N 3.566344°E / 51.184636; 3.566344
Eeklo East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-007
Belfry, Cloth Hall and Mammelokker of Ghent
51°03′13″N 3°43′29″E / 51.053656°N 3.724762°E / 51.053656; 3.724762
Ghent East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-008
Former City Hall & Lakenhal (cloth hall) of Herentals
51°10′37″N 4°50′11″E / 51.176952°N 4.836261°E / 51.176952; 4.836261
Herentals Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-009
Cloth Hall and Belfry of Ypres
50°51′04″N 2°53′08″E / 50.851184°N 2.885451°E / 50.851184; 2.885451
Ypres West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-010
Belfry of Kortrijk
50°49′39″N 3°15′56″E / 50.827630°N 3.265595°E / 50.827630; 3.265595
Kortrijk West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-011
Belfry of St. Peter's Church and Tower
50°52′47″N 4°42′03″E / 50.879720°N 4.700785°E / 50.879720; 4.700785
Leuven Flemish Brabant Flanders Belgium 1999 943-012
City Hall and Belfry Tower of Lier
51°07′52″N 4°34′12″E / 51.131173°N 4.569896°E / 51.131173; 4.569896
Lier Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-013
Town Hall with Belfry of Lo-Reninge
50°58′50″N 2°44′58″E / 50.980598°N 2.749339°E / 50.980598; 2.749339
Lo-Reninge West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-014
Old Cloth Hall with Belfry (now part of the modern City Hall complex)[b]
51°01′41″N 4°28′53″E / 51.027948°N 4.481269°E / 51.027948; 4.481269
Mechelen Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-015
St. Rumbolds Tower of the Cathedral[c]
51°01′44″N 4°28′42″E / 51.028772°N 4.478210°E / 51.028772; 4.478210
Mechelen Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-016
City Hall and Adjacent Belfry of Menen
50°47′46″N 3°07′14″E / 50.796109°N 3.120626°E / 50.796109; 3.120626
Menen West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-017
Stadshalle Grain Hall (Market Hall) with Belfry of Nieuwpoort
51°07′45″N 2°45′08″E / 51.129297°N 2.752118°E / 51.129297; 2.752118
Nieuwpoort West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-018
Town Hall of with Belfry of Oudenaarde
50°50′38″N 3°36′14″E / 50.843835°N 3.603841°E / 50.843835; 3.603841
Oudenaarde East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-019
City Hall, Stadshalle (market hall), and Belfry of Roeselare
50°56′41″N 3°07′28″E / 50.944680°N 3.124362°E / 50.944680; 3.124362
Roeselare West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-020
City Hall with Tower of Sint-Truiden
50°48′56″N 5°11′10″E / 50.815570°N 5.186119°E / 50.815570; 5.186119
Sint-Truiden Limburg Flanders Belgium 1999 943-021
Hallentoren belfry, Cloth Hall and Aldermen's Chamber [d]
51°00′02″N 3°19′37″E / 51.000471°N 3.327031°E / 51.000471; 3.327031
Tielt West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-022
St. Germanus Church with Stadstoren (City Tower)
50°48′21″N 4°56′20″E / 50.805921°N 4.939013°E / 50.805921; 4.939013
Tienen Flemish Brabant Flanders Belgium 1999 943-023
Belfry of the Basilica of Our Lady with Stadstoren (City Tower)
50°46′51″N 5°27′52″E / 50.780857°N 5.464398°E / 50.780857; 5.464398
Tongeren Limburg Flanders Belgium 1999 943-024
Landhuis ("country-house", former seat of the Viscounty of Veurne-Ambacht) and Belfry[e]
51°04′22″N 2°39′42″E / 51.072884°N 2.661568°E / 51.072884; 2.661568
Veurne West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-025
St. Leonard's Church
50°50′00″N 5°06′11″E / 50.833318°N 5.103024°E / 50.833318; 5.103024
Zoutleeuw Flemish Brabant Flanders Belgium 1999 943-026
Belfry of the City Hall of Binche
50°24′39″N 4°09′56″E / 50.410750°N 4.165543°E / 50.410750; 4.165543
Binche Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-027
Belfry of the City Hall of Charleroi
50°24′45″N 4°26′38″E / 50.412537°N 4.443887°E / 50.412537; 4.443887
Charleroi Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-028
Belfry of Mons
50°27′15″N 3°57′00″E / 50.454110°N 3.949976°E / 50.454110; 3.949976
Mons Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-029
Belfry of Namur
50°27′50″N 4°52′01″E / 50.463890°N 4.867062°E / 50.463890; 4.867062
Namur Namur Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-030
Belfry of Thuin
50°20′23″N 4°17′15″E / 50.339637°N 4.287541°E / 50.339637; 4.287541
Thuin Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-031
Belfry of Tournai
50°36′21″N 3°23′17″E / 50.605812°N 3.388005°E / 50.605812; 3.388005
Tournai Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-032
Belfry of the City Hall of Armentières
50°41′11″N 2°52′57″E / 50.68645°N 2.8824°E / 50.68645; 2.8824
Armentières Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-033
Belfry of the City Hall of Bailleul
50°44′23″N 2°44′04″E / 50.7397°N 2.7344°E / 50.7397; 2.7344
Bailleul Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-034
Belfry of Bergues
50°58′05″N 2°25′58″E / 50.9680°N 2.4327°E / 50.9680; 2.4327
Bergues Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-035
Belfry of St. Martin's Church
50°10′27″N 3°13′56″E / 50.1742°N 3.232127°E / 50.1742; 3.232127
Cambrai Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-036
Belfry of the City Hall of Comines
50°45′55″N 3°00′26″E / 50.7653°N 3.0072°E / 50.7653; 3.0072
Comines Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-037
Belfry of the City Hall of Douai
50°22′04″N 3°04′50″E / 50.3679°N 3.0805°E / 50.3679; 3.0805
Douai Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-038
Belfry of Dunkirk[f]
51°02′08″N 2°22′35″E / 51.0356°N 2.3763°E / 51.0356; 2.3763
Dunkirk Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-039
Belfry of the City Hall of Dunkirk[f]
51°02′15″N 2°22′36″E / 51.0376°N 2.3768°E / 51.0376; 2.3768
Dunkirk Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-040
Belfry of Gravelines
50°59′12″N 2°07′34″E / 50.9868°N 2.1261°E / 50.9868; 2.1261
Gravelines Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-041
Belfry of the City Hall of Lille
50°37′50″N 3°04′11″E / 50.6306°N 3.0698°E / 50.6306; 3.0698
Lille Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-042
Belfry of the City Hall of Loos
50°36′54″N 3°00′53″E / 50.61507°N 3.01477°E / 50.61507; 3.01477
Loos Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-043
Belfry of the City Hall of Aire-sur-la-Lys
50°38′19″N 2°23′47″E / 50.6385°N 2.3963°E / 50.6385; 2.3963
Aire-sur-la-Lys Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-044
Belfry of the City Hall of Arras
50°17′28″N 2°46′37″E / 50.2911°N 2.7770°E / 50.2911; 2.7770
Arras Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-045
Belfry of Béthune
50°31′52″N 2°38′21″E / 50.5310°N 2.6392°E / 50.5310; 2.6392
Béthune Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-046
Belfry of the City Hall of Boulogne-sur-Mer
50°43′30″N 1°36′48″E / 50.7250°N 1.6132°E / 50.7250; 1.6132
Boulogne-sur-Mer Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-047
Belfry of the City Hall of Calais
50°57′10″N 1°51′15″E / 50.9529°N 1.8542°E / 50.9529; 1.8542
Calais Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-048
Belfry of the City Hall of Hesdin
50°22′23″N 2°02′11″E / 50.3730°N 2.0363°E / 50.3730; 2.0363
Hesdin Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-049
Belfry of Abbeville
50°06′26″N 1°49′58″E / 50.1073°N 1.8329°E / 50.1073; 1.8329
Abbeville Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-050
Belfry of Somme
49°53′44″N 2°17′46″E / 49.8955°N 2.2960°E / 49.8955; 2.2960
Amiens Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-051
Belfry of the former Municipal Hall of Doullens
50°09′19″N 2°20′28″E / 50.1554°N 2.3410°E / 50.1554; 2.3410
Doullens Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-052
Belfry on the remaining City Gate of Lucheux
50°11′50″N 2°24′40″E / 50.1971°N 2.4112°E / 50.1971; 2.4112
Lucheux Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-053
Belfry of Rue
50°16′21″N 1°40′07″E / 50.2725°N 1.6687°E / 50.2725; 1.6687
Rue Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-054
Belfry of Saint-Riquier
50°08′03″N 1°56′47″E / 50.1342°N 1.9464°E / 50.1342; 1.9464
Saint-Riquier Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-055
Belfry of Gembloux
50°33′39″N 4°41′35″E / 50.560799°N 4.692968°E / 50.560799; 4.692968
Gembloux Namur Wallonia Belgium 2005 943-056

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "The Hôtel de Ville in Antwerpen (1564) is an excellent example of the transposition of Renaissance principles in the central risalith with superposed diminishing registers flanked by obelisks and scrollwork and finished with a pediment, reiterating the theme of the central belfry." – Hôtel de Ville is French for 'City Hall', Antwerpen is the native name of 'Antwerp' in Dutch."
  2. ^ UNESCO states, inappropriately in French: ID 943-015 Ancienne Halle avec Beffroi; in native Dutch language this is Oude [or: Voormalige] Halle met Belfort. This 14th-century Cloth Hall with never to its designed height built Belfry – both hardly ever used for the intended purposes – with more recent adjacent buildings, constitute the present-day City Hall.
  3. ^ UNESCO states, inappropriately in French: ID 943-016 Tour de Saint-Rombaut ; in native Dutch language this is Sint-Romboutstoren which is the main tower of the cathedral, once also used as a watchtower against fires.
  4. ^ The belfry is known as Hallentoren or Tower of the Halls, plural: of the two adjacent wings or halls, only one remains, hence Cloth Hall, singular.
  5. ^ The city centre's Landhuis (literally: 'country-house') was once the seat of the kasselrij or burggraafschap (viscounty) Veurne-Ambacht, serving the countryside; here as opposed to the adjacent Stadhuis (literally: 'city-house' though always meaning the City Hall) serving the city. The Landhuis later became the Court of Justice and recently a place for cultural purposes, e.g. exhibitions, dance acts, concerts, etc.
  6. ^ a b UNESCO states: ID 943-040 Beffroi de l'Hôtel de Ville, ID 943-039 Beffroi de l'église Saint-Eloi – further reading from other source: (in French) Monuments in Dunkirk

References

  1. ^ "Il y eut pourtant des projets de reconstruction aux siècles passés. Oh effroi! Bruxelles est sans beffroi!". Le Soir (in French). Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Belfries of Belgium and France". UNESCO. Retrieved 1 July 2021.