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UNESCO World heritage sites

Beguinage and belfry

The beguinage and the belfry are two famous landmarks. At the end of the 20th century they were added to the prestigious list of UNESCO World heritage sites.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation promotes, worldwide, the recognition and protection of cultural and natural heritage sites that are of exceptional value to mankind.

In 1998, 13 Flemish beguinages were classified as UNESCO World heritage sites:
Lier, Diest, Tongeren, Kortrijk, Mechelen, Sint-Amandsberg, Hoogstraten, Bruges, Dendermonde, Turnhout, Sint-Truiden, Leuven and Ghent.

In 1999, 24 Flemish and Wallonian belfries were classified as UNESCO World heritage sites:
Lier, Tongeren, Kortrijk, Mechelen, Bruges, Aalst , Dendermonde, Diksmuide, Eeklo, Ghent, Herentals, Ieper, Lo-Reninge, Nieuwpoort, Menen, Oudenaarde, Roeselare, Sint-Truiden, Tielt, Veurne, Antwerp, Leuven, Tienen, Zoutleeuw, Tournai, Mons, Charleroi, Binche, Thuin and Namur.

In 2005 the UNESCO list was extended to include other global cultural heritage sites. One Wallonian belfry was added: Gembloux. The others are in France: in Armentières, Boulogne-sur-mer, Cambrai, Comines, Douai, Gravelines, Dunkerque, Lille, Loos, Aire-sur-la-Lys, Bailleul, Béthune, Bergues, Calais, Hesdin, Abbeville, Amiens, Doullens, Lucheux, Rue and Saint-Riquier.

At present 54 belfries are classified as UNESCO World heritage sites.



UNESCO World heritage site

Beguinages were closed courtyards where widows and unmarried women led a religiously inspired but independent life. Self-rule...



UNESCO World heritage site

In 1369 Hendrik Mijs built a Gothic belfry next to the ...

Opening times

1 November to 31 March
Monday to Friday: 9.00 - 12.30 & 13.30 - 16.30

1 April to 31 October
Monday to Friday: 9.00 - 16.30
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays: 9.00 - 12.30 & 13.00 - 16.00

Grote Markt 58, 2500 LIER
tel. +32 3 8000 555