Belfries of Belgium and France

The Belfries of Belgium and France are a group of 56 historical buildings designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, in recognition of an architectural manifestation of emerging civic independence from feudal and religious influences in historic Flanders and neighboring regions of the Duchy of Burgundy.

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

UNESCO inscribed 32 towers onto its list of Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia in 1999. In 2005, the belfry of Gembloux in the Walloon Region of Belgium and 23 belfries from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy regions in the northern tip of France were appended to the renamed list. One notable omission is the Brussels Town Hall belfry, as it is already part of the Grand Place World Heritage Site.

However, despite this list being concerned with civic tower structures, additional six church towers were also made part of it under the pretext that they had served as watchtowers or alarm bell towers. These are the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, St. Rumbolds Cathedral in Mechelen, St. Peter's Church, Leuven, St. Germanus Church in Tienen, the Basilica of Our Lady in Tongeren and St. Leonard's Church in Zoutleeuw.

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.

Belgium

ID numbers correspond to the order in the complete list ID 943/943bis from UNESCO, see External links.

Flanders

West Flanders

ID 943-004BrugesHallentoren belfry and halls
ID 943-006DiksmuideCity Hall and Belfry
ID 943-011KortrijkHallentoren Belfry[1]
ID 943-014Lo-Reninge (Lo)Town Hall with Belfry (at present a hotel)
ID 943-017MenenCity Hall and adjacent Belfry
ID 943-018NieuwpoortStadshalle grain hall (market hall) with Belfry
ID 943-020RoeselareCity Hall, Stadshalle (market hall) and Belfry
ID 943-022TieltHallentoren belfry, Cloth Hall and Aldermen's Chamber [2]
ID 943-025VeurneLandhuis ("country-house", former seat of the Viscounty of Veurne-Ambacht) and Belfry [3]
ID 943-010YpresCloth Hall with Belfry

East Flanders

ID 943-001AalstAldermen's House with Belfry
ID 943-005DendermondeCity Hall with Belfry
ID 943-007EekloCity Hall with Belfry
ID 943-008GhentBelfry, Cloth Hall and Mammelokker [4]
ID 943-019OudenaardeCity Hall with Belfry

Antwerp

ID 943-002AntwerpCathedral of Our Lady
ID 943-003AntwerpCity Hall [5] 
ID 943-009HerentalsFormer City & 'Laken'(Cloth) Hall
ID 943-013LierCity Hall and Belfry tower
ID 943-016MechelenSt. Rumbolds Tower of the cathedral [6]
ID 943-015MechelenOld Cloth Hall with Belfry (now part of the City Hall complex)[7]

Flemish Brabant

ID 943-012LeuvenSt. Peter's Church and tower
ID 943-023TienenSt. Germanus Church with Stadstoren (City Tower)
ID 943-026ZoutleeuwSt. Leonard's Church

Limburg

ID 943-021Sint-TruidenCity Hall with Tower
ID 943-024TongerenBasilica of Our Lady with Stadstoren (City Tower)

Wallonia

Hainaut

ID 943-027BincheBelfry of the City Hall
ID 943-028CharleroiBelfry of the City Hall
ID 943-029MonsBelfry
ID 943-031ThuinBelfry
ID 943-032TournaiBelfry

Namur

ID 943-056GemblouxBelfry
ID 943-030NamurBelfry

France

Nord-Pas de Calais

Nord

ID 943-033ArmentièresBelfry of the City Hall50°41′11″N 2°52′57″E
ID 943-034BailleulBelfry of the City Hall50°44′23″N 2°44′04″E
ID 943-035BerguesBelfry50°58′05″N 2°25′58″E
ID 943-036CambraiBelfry of the St. Martin's Church50°10′27″N 3°13′56″E
ID 943-037CominesBelfry of the City Hall50°45′55″N 3°00′26″E
ID 943-038DouaiBelfry of the City Hall50°22′04″N 3°04′50″E
ID 943-040DunkirkBelfry of the City Hall[8]51°02′15″N 2°22′36″E
ID 943-039DunkirkBelfry of Dunkirk[8](former church tower attached to Saint Eligius, in the 1700s transformed into a standalone municipal belfry)51°02′08″N 2°22′35″E
ID 943-041GravelinesBelfry50°59′12″N 2°07′34″E
ID 943-042LilleBelfry of the City Hall50°37′50″N 3°04′11″E
ID 943-043LoosBelfry of the City Hall50°36′54″N 3°00′53″E

Pas-de-Calais

ID 943-044Aire-sur-la-LysBelfry of the City Hall50°38′19″N 2°23′47″E
ID 943-045ArrasBelfry of the City Hall50°17′28″N 2°46′37″E
ID 943-046BéthuneBelfry50°31′52″N 2°38′21″E
ID 943-047Boulogne-sur-MerBelfry of the City Hall50°43′30″N 1°36′48″E
ID 943-048CalaisBelfry of the City Hall50°57′10″N 1°51′15″E
ID 943-049HesdinBelfry of the City Hall50°22′23″N 2°02′11″E

Picardy

Somme

ID 943-050AbbevilleBelfry50°06′26″N 1°49′58″E
ID 943-051AmiensBelfry49°53′44″N 2°17′46″E
ID 943-052DoullensBelfry of the former Municipal Hall, at present the tourist information center50°09′19″N 2°20′28″E
ID 943-053LucheuxBelfry on the remaining City Gate50°11′50″N 2°24′40″E
ID 943-054RueBelfry50°16′21″N 1°40′07″E
ID 943-055Saint-RiquierBelfry50°08′03″N 1°56′47″E

See also

  • List of World Heritage Sites in Europe

Footnotes

  1. The belfry is known as Halletoren, because of an adjacent Cloth Hall that no longer exists; the tower is now free-standing.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The name Mammelokker (assumedly: 'Allurer of breasts') for the guard house at the part of the Cloth Hall that once served as a prison, refers to the story of a prisoner.
  5. Quote from external link Detailed argumentation for list ID 943/943bis, UNESCO Website: "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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
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