World Heritage

The tower as a UNESCO world heritage site



The tower of Saint Rumbold is not just a church tower, it is a belfry. Belfries originate from the late middle ages. Originally they housed the alarm-bells, later on also a clock and carillon. These towers organised the daily life of the community. In the middle ages, the former county of Flanders was one of the most prosperous regions in Europe. Building belfries in important cities was above all an expression of the power and richness of the county. Today the sound of the bells still reminds us of the presence of the age-old towers which are part of the city landscape in Flanders and the north of France. The unfinished tower of Saint Rumbold also became a landmark for Mechelen.


UNESCO world heritage

In 1999, the exceptional and universal value of the belfries in Belgium and France was registered on the UNESCO world heritage list. This deed is an acknowledgement of the historical and architectural value of certain buildings. However, it also implies a responsibility for long term and sustainable monument care.

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