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  • 1 Béguinage Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings


    This 13C Beguine convent is one of the largest in Belgium. Its Baroque entrance (1671) is adorned with a niche housing a Virgin and Child. The 90 current buildings, ornamented with gables and niches, date from the 17C and 18C. The former Apostelen co..

  • 2 Halle's Basilica Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    This 14C Brabant Gothic basilica has a square tower topped by a corner pinnacle and a Baroque lantern. Note the South Porch with its Virgin and Child surrounded by angel musicians. The interior houses numerous artifacts and fine sculptures. Note the ..

  • 3 Abbey Ruins Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    St Bernard laid the abbey's foundations in 1147, but the church and cloister were only built from 1198 to 1209. It was ransacked by Spaniards and local revolts in the 16C, then enclosed within fortifications in 1587. In 1789, the Austrians pillaged t..

  • 4 Église St-Léonard Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Grote Markt

    This attractive church was built from the 13C (chevet, north transept) to 16C (bell-tower). The interior escaped the 16C iconoclasts and is a real museum of religious art, with a variety of fine altarpieces, triptychs, statues, gold and silverwork. N..

  • 5 Grand Béguinage Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Originally, this Beguine convent (founded c 1230) included the district near the church. It was extended to 6 ha in the 17C and is the largest Beguine convent in Belgium. It was purchased by the university in 1962 and now accommodates students and le..

  • 6 Planckendael Zoological Park Recommended Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    chaussée de Leuven 582

    This vast garden planted with flowers and fine trees is home to over 1 000 animals. Note the rare or endangered species, tropical bird aviaries and lakes with many water fowl.

  • 7 Sint Gummaruskerk Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings


    This church has a massive belfry nicknamed the "Pepperpot" due to its unusual shape. The interior includes superb keystones and stained-glass windows. The Flamboyant Gothic rood screen is the work of Mechelen sculptors. Note the south aisle..

  • 8 Cathedral of St Rumbold Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    This Gothic building has an outstanding tower (as wide as its nave) housing two carillons, of wonderful proportions with powerful yet light vertical lines. The harmonious cathedral interior is surprisingly large. Among the many works of art, note the..

  • 9 O L Vrouwebasiliek Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Grote Markt

    This fine Gothic building (13C-16C) is preceded by an impressive unfinished towered façade. The nave rests on cylindrical columns with crocket capitals. The elegant triforium is ringed by a gallery. Note the 16C Antwerp wooden altarpiece relating the..

  • 10 Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    r. des Jardins 47

    This park flowing with water, compromising between formal French-type and romantic Italianate gardens, was conceived in the late 18C by one of the Montpellier family (owners of the estate since the 17C) members. It charms visitors with numerous and i..

  • 11 The Oignies aux Soeurs de Notre Dame Priory Treasur Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    r. Julie-Billiard 17

    The Oignies Priory treasury, saved from 1940 air raids, is housed in one room. Exhibits include early-13C evangelistaries and reliquaries by the Mosan monk Hugo d'Oignies, whose delicate skill can notably be seen in the black-background medallions wi..

  • This fortress was named "Heartbreak Castle" after being razed by King Henri II of France's troops in 1554. A gate opposite the bottom of the steps was once part of the fortifications. The castle ruins offer a fine view of the town, church, ..

  • 13 Wild Animal Reserve of Han-sur-Lesse Recommended Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    This reserve, set in the magnificent Massif de la Boine, contains Ardennes forest fauna (deer, stags, boars) and, in a vast clearing, animals that once lived in the area: bison, brown bears, ibex, chamois, wolves, tarpans (small horses), wild oxen (a..

  • 14 Château Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. du Château 11

    The early-16C castle was remodelled in the 17C and 18C. After a fire, the main building was rebuilt in 1902. Its rich collections of furniture, tapestries, paintings, sculptures and porcelain are worthy of a museum, but do not prevent the château fro..

  • 15 Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    r. du Château 11

    Work began in the 16C, then the gardens were altered by Prince Claude-Lamoral II's plans after advice from formal landscape gardeners. Prince Charles-Joseph Il added a pleasure garden. The park is laid out around a vista several miles long, the Grand..

  • 16 Le Grand-Hornu Recommended Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    r. Ste-Louise 82

    Neo-Classical in style (arcades, pediments and colonnades), this complex was built from 1816 to 1835 for Henri de Gorge, who had bought the concession to work the coal mines. It consists of 435 workers' houses, workshops, warehouses etc. It ceased to..

  • 17 Château de Seneffe Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. Lucien-Plasman 7-9

    Seneffe's château was built for the rich merchant Julien Depestre in the 18C. It has a sober neo-Classical façade and main building flanked by two galleries each ending in an elegant pavilion. Note the interior, precious wood flooring (small boudoir)..

  • 18 Grote-Markt Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts


    This vast square is lined with fine buildings (Town Hall, Landhuis, St Walburg church) and mostly early-17C houses topped by imposing gables, pediments and cornices. On the north side, note the set of five houses with fine gables, adorned with heavy ..

  • 19 In Flanders Fields Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    J. Coomansstraat

    Opened in 1998, this innovatively-designed museum provides a captivating history of the First World War using audio-visual techniques, and has over 3 000 accounts of the experiences of individuals (soldiers, nurses, refugees, children etc) of over 50..

  • 20 Église Notre-Dame Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings


    This 13C-14C church, topped by an octagonal tower above the transept crossing, is a blend of Gothic, Brabant and Scaldian styles. The interior has fine works of art, including Van Dyck's Calvary and Adoration of the Sheperds paintings and another Ado..

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