World Heritages in Belgium

Plantin Moretus Museum (World Heritage)

Walloon Mining Places (World Heritage)

With their partly futuristic buildings, the four former collieries document the importance of coal mining in the 19th and 20th centuries for the region.

Walloon Mining Places: Facts

Official title: Significant places in Walloon mining
Cultural monument: Four sites (Grand-Hornu, Bois-du-Luc, Bois du Cazier and Blegny-Mine) in a strip from east to west of 170 km in southern Belgium with the best preserved coal mines in the country from the 19th and 20th centuries.; Features of utopian architecture in the early periods of the industrial age in Europe with special industrial and urban ensembles in neoclassical style with brick construction; Sites with a well-developed infrastructure and a large number of technical and industrial equipment as well as accommodation for the miners
Continent: Europe
Country: Belgium
Location: Hainaut region in southern Belgium
Appointment: 2012
Meaning: Exceptional example of functional urban planning in the industrial age; outstanding evidence of the technical, social and urban development innovations of the industrial revolution; impressive documents of early industrial mining and its technical and social conditions

Palais Stoclet (World Heritage)

The city palace in Brussels was built at the beginning of the 20th century for the engineer and businessman Adolphe Stoclet (1871-1949). The design in Viennese Art Nouveau comes from the architect Josef Hoffmann (1870 –1956), one of the founders of the artists’ association “Wiener Secession” and the “Wiener Werkstätte”. The villa, preserved in its original state, is a total work of art consisting of architecture, interior design and garden.

Palais Stoclet: facts

Official title: Stoclet Palace
Cultural monument: Villa in cubic form, built from 1905 to 1911 for the banker and art collector Adolphe Stoclet; with angular blocks juxtaposing with each other and space-accentuated rooms created according to geometrical principles, framed sparingly with Art Nouveau ornaments; designed and executed by the architect and co-founder of the »Wiener Sezession« artists’ association, Josef Hoffmann, with the involvement of a large number of artists of the Viennese Art Nouveau; Outside in bronze and precious marble, interior with monumental mosaic friezes, among others by Gustav Klimt; Interior and exterior architecture determined by simplicity, clear proportions and precious materials
Continent: Europe
Country: Belgium
Location: Brussels
Appointment: 2009
Meaning: Architectural masterpiece of the art movement of the Vienna Secession; stylistically self-contained, aesthetically outstanding total work of art; groundbreaking work for western architecture at the beginning of the 20th century and for the birth of »Art Deco«, following the goal of combining art and everyday life

Palais Stoclet: history

1883 Beginning of the construction of one of the main works of the »sculptural grinding« direction of Art Nouveau architecture by Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona, ​​the Temple de la Sagrada Família.
1892 Foundation of the Art Nouveau-oriented artists’ association “Munich Secession” by L. Dill, F. von Stuck, F. von Uhde and W. Trübner; later “New Secession” (1913)
1896 Founding of the artistic magazine »Jugend« in Munich, later namesake of »Art Nouveau« (in France »Art nouveau«, in Great Britain »Modern Style«, in Austria »Secession Style«); Its characteristics: linear, often asymmetrical ornamentation of floral or geometric origin with alienation effects
1897 Founding of the “Vienna Secession” (main representatives G. Klimt, K. Moser, JM Olbrich); Development of the »cubic crystalline« direction of Art Nouveau architecture
1898 Founding of the Berlin Secession, arising from the “Vereinigung der XI” (founded in 1892 by M. Liebermann and W. Leistikow) (also known as the “Gruppe der Elf”) and the Free Artists’ Association (founded in 1893)
circa 1914 Final phase of Art Nouveau

 

Art Nouveau buildings by Victor Horta (World Heritage)

The Belgian architect Victor Horta (1861-1947) caused an international sensation at the end of the 19th century with his houses and villas. The sinuous, floral Art Nouveau forms, but also the new use of iron and rivets, which Horta used in the Hôtel Tassel (1884), the Hôtel Solvay (1894) and in his home and studio, were defining the style.

Art Nouveau buildings by Victor Horta: facts

Official title: Art Nouveau buildings by Victor Horta in Brussels
Cultural monument: Four city villas designed as a total work of art by the Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta in Brussels – Hotel Tassel, Hotel Solvay, Hotel van Eetvelde and Maison & Atelier Horta – in Art Nouveau style, were built on the threshold of the 20th century; Use of elements from industrial and shipbuilding; Use of iron and glass in new forms of construction and design for a new conception of the room; Supports and beams as decorative elements, over which glass roofs; numerous stylized floral and geometric elements, especially in interior design
Continent: Europe
Country: Belgium
Location: Brussels
Appointment: 2000
Meaning: Prestigious townhouses by Victor Horta as evidence of the upheaval on the threshold from the 19th to the 20th century

Tournai Cathedral (World Heritage)

The cathedral with its five towers, the Romanesque nave, the transepts and the Gothic choir was built between the 12th and 14th centuries and is one of the most beautiful churches from the Middle Ages.

Tournai Cathedral: facts

Official title: Notre Dame Cathedral in Tournai
Cultural monument: From the 12/13. Century pillar basilica in Romanesque-Gothic style; five towers, 83 m high central tower, main entrance 26 m wide, on the side portals numerous sculptures and relief figures (14th and 16th / 17th centuries), the three-aisled cathedral (134 m long, 66 m wide) divided by arcade galleries, frescoes (12th century), rood screen by Cornelis Floris (1572), high altar (1727), glass window (16th century), painting by Peter Paul Rubens; Cathedral treasure in the ambulatory, including two late Romanesque gilded reliquary shrines “Notre-Dame” (1205) with scenes from the life of Mary and “St. Eleutherius «(1247), Byzantine cross (around 1000), tapestries
Continent: Europe
Country: Belgium
Location: Tournai, Hainaut Province
Appointment: 2000
Meaning: Monumental building from the transition from Romanesque to Gothic

Tournai Cathedral: history

4th century Roman fortress Turris Nerviorum
5th century Capital of the Salian Franks
6th century Bishopric
1187 Belgium’s oldest belfry
13th century City wall and fortress “Pont des Trou” (1290)
15./16. Century The heyday of carpet weaving
1513-18 Construction of the citadel
1940 Great destruction during the Second World War
1999 Strong storm damage

 

Flint mines near Spiennes (World Heritage)

According to oxfordastronomy, the flint mines in Belgium are a unique testimony to early mining in Europe. The rock was mined from 4400 BC. In underground shafts and tunnels up to 12 m deep, in order to manufacture tools and weapons from them.

Flint mines near Spiennes: facts

Official title: Neolithic flint mines near Spiennes (Mons)
Cultural monument: Over an area of ​​over one square kilometer, numerous horizontal tunnels in the valley slopes with open flint deposits as well as shafts up to 15 m deep with cross tunnels, often with a diameter of less than one meter
Continent: Europe
Country: Belgium
Location: Spiennes near Mons, Hainaut Province
Appointment: 2000
Meaning: Largest and earliest collection of mines in Europe

Flint mines near Spiennes: history

around 40,000 BC Chr. Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) in Europe
35000 BC Chr. Extinction of the Neanderthals
18000 BC Chr. The climax of the last ice age
9000 BC Chr. Beginning of the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age), people as hunters and gatherers
5000 BC Chr. Flint tools in use
from 3500 BC Chr. First mining activities in the Hainaut region
1600 BC Chr. Beginning of the Bronze Age in Belgium
800 BC Chr. Beginning of the Iron Age in Belgium
57 BC Chr. Conquest of Belgium by the Romans

Plantin Moretus Museum (World Heritage)