List of World Heritage Sites in Belgium

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There are 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belgium, with a further 15 on the tentative list, currently under consideration.

World Heritage Sites[edit]

The table lists information about each World Heritage Site:

Name; as listed by the World Heritage Committee
Location; in Belgium
Period; time period of significance, typically of construction
Criteria; the criteria the site was listed under by the World Heritage Committee
Year; the year the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List
Description; brief description of the site
Name Image Location Date Type (Criteria) Year Description
Belfries of Belgium and France The Cloth Hall, Ypres, Belgium.jpg Belgium and Northern France 11th-17th centuries Cultural (ii, iv) 1999, extended in 2005 A total of 56 belfries are considered as World Heritage. Among them are 33 Belgian belfries: Antwerp (Cathedral of Our Lady & Antwerp City Hall), Herentals, Lier, Mechelen (St. Rumbold's Cathedral & city hall), Bruges, Diksmuide, Kortrijk, Lo-Reninge, Menen, Nieuwpoort, Roeselare, Tielt, Veurne, Ypres, Aalst, Dendermonde, Eeklo, Ghent, Oudenaarde, Leuven, Tienen, Zoutleeuw, Sint-Truiden, Tongeren, Binche, Charleroi, Mons, Thuin, Tournai, Gembloux and Namur. The belfries are built in Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and Renaissance styles.
Flemish Béguinages Leuven-Groot-Begijnhof.jpg Flanders 13th century Cultural (ii, iii, iv) 1998 Béguinage (French) or begijnhof (Dutch) are collections of small buildings used by Beguines. These were various lay sisterhoods of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in the 13th century in the Low Countries, comprising religious women who sought to serve God without retiring from the world.
Historic Centre of Brugge Bruegge huidenvettersplein.jpg Bruges, West Flanders 12th-19th century Cultural (ii, iv, vi) 2000

Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the north-west of Belgium. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is sometimes referred to as "The Venice of the North". Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port. At one time, it was considered the "chief commercial city" of the world.[1]

La Grand-Place, Brussels Brussels floral carpet B.jpg Brussels, Brussels 1695-1699 Cultural (ii, iv) 1998 The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city's Town Hall, and the Breadhouse. The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels. It measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 361 ft).
Major Mining Sites of Wallonia Bois du Cazier 2.jpg Wallonia 19th-20th century Cultural (ii, iv) 2012 During the industrial revolution in the 19th century, mining and the heavy industry that relied on coal formed a major part of Belgium's economy. Most of this mining and industry took place in the sillon industriel ("industrial valley" in French), a strip of land running across the country where many of the largest cities in Wallonia are located. The named locations of this World Heritage Site are all situated in or near the area of the sillon industriel. Mining activities in the area declined during the 20th century, and today the four mines listed are no longer operational. Nowadays they are each open to visitors as museums.
Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta Tassel House stairway.JPG Brussels, Brussels 19th-20th century Cultural (i, ii, iv) 2000 The architect Victor Horta was well known for creating buildings in the Art Nouveau style fashionable at the time. Four of his most notable surviving works, Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde and Maison & Atelier Horta, are listed as World Heritage Sites.
Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes Minières néolithiques de silex - Spiennes (1).jpg Mons, Hainaut Neolithic Cultural (i, iii, iv) 2000 The Neolithic flint mines at Spiennes are Europe's largest and earliest neolithic mines, located close to Walloon village of Spiennes, southeast of Mons, Belgium. The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic (4300-2200 BC).
Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai Tournai pan.jpg Tournai, Hainaut 12th century Cultural (ii, iv) 2000 Notre-Dame Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church, see of the Diocese of Tournai in Tournai. Begun in the 12th century on even older foundations, the building combines the work of three design periods with striking effect, the heavy and severe character of the Romanesque nave contrasting remarkably with the Transitional work of the transept and the fully developed Gothic of the choir. The transept is the most distinctive part of the building, with its cluster of five bell towers and apsidal (semicircular) ends.
Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex Library of Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp.jpg Antwerp, Antwerp 16th-17th century Cultural (ii, iii, iv, vi) 2005 The Plantin-Moretus Museum is a museum in Antwerp about early-modern printing in general and the famous printers Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus in particular. It is located in their former residence and printing establishment, Plantin Press, at the Friday Market.
Stoclet House Stoclet Palace Hoffmann Brussels 1911.jpg Woluwe-St-Pierre, Brussels 1911 Cultural (i, ii) 2009 The Stoclet Palace was a private mansion built by architect Josef Hoffmann between 1905 and 1911 in Brussels, Belgium, for banker and art lover Adolphe Stoclet.[2] It was one of the most refined and luxurious private houses of the twentieth century[3] and was lavishly decorated inside, including works by the artist Gustav Klimt.
The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx Houding1.jpg Hainaut 1888-1917 Cultural (iii, iv) 1998 The lifts on the old Canal du Centre are a series of four hydraulic boat lifts near the town of La Louvière in the Sillon industriel of Wallonia. Along a particular 7 km (4.3 mi) stretch of the Canal du Centre, which connects the river basins of the Meuse and the Scheldt, the water level rises by 66.2 metres (217 ft). To overcome this difference, the 15.4-metre lift at Houdeng-Goegnies was opened in 1888, and the other three lifts, each with a 16.93 metres (55.5 ft) rise, opened in 1917.

Tentative list[edit]

The Tentative List is an inventory of important heritage and natural sites that a country is considering for inscription on the World Heritage List, thereby becoming World Heritage Sites. The Tentative List can be updated at any time, but inclusion on the list is a prerequisite to being considered for inscription within a five- to ten-year period.[4]

  1. Ghent historic town centre, Ghent
  2. Antwerp historic town centre, Antwerp
  3. Memorials of the Great War, Westhoek and surrounding area
  4. Historic University of Leuven, Leuven
  5. Galleries of Brussels, including the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Brussels
  6. Buildings by Henry van de Velde
  7. Palais de Justice, Brussels
  8. Le plateau des Hautes-Fagnes, Liège
  9. Roman road from Bavay to Tongeren
  10. Thermal Springs of Spa, Spa
  11. Palace of the Princes Evêques de Liège, Liège
  12. Battlefield of Waterloo, Waterloo, Brussels
  13. Battle of Waterloo Cyclorama, Waterloo, Brussels
  14. The Mosane Citadels
  15. Hoge Kempen Industrial Landscape, Genk, Limburg


  1. ^ Dunton, Larkin (1896). The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett. p. 158. 
  2. ^ Sharp, Dennis (2002). Twentieth Century Architecture. Mulgrave: Images Publishing Group. ISBN 1-86470-085-8.  pp.44
  3. ^ Watkin, David (2005). A History of Western Architecture. London: Laurence King Publishing. ISBN 1-85669-459-3.  pp.548
  4. ^ Glossary, UNESCO, retrieved 2010-01-01 

External links[edit]