Belfry of Newport
Origin and construction of first Grain Hall
The Belfry of Nieuwpoort has its origins in the municipal charter given to the town by Philip of Alsace in 1163. There is mention of a grain hall as early as 1280. The first real mention is from 1292 when income is reported from the grain hall used to build St. Laurentius Church.
The calamity of 1383 and construction of the Belfry
In 1383, Nieuwpoort faced a siege by a coalition of Ghent and Englishmen who captured, plundered and burned the city. The damage was considerable and from 1385 reconstruction began. The grain hall is rebuilt, again on the Grand Place and this time with a belfry.
The ‘Herman tower’ and carillon
The belfry will have a jacquemart or hour knocker with two wooden figures striking a bell each full and half hour. The largest figure is named Herman and the tower is called the Herman Tower. To this, a carillon was added in 1578, which after extensions in 1674 became too large and was therefore moved to the tower of Our Lady’s Church where it still hangs today.
Damage in 1875 and total destruction in 1914
In 1875, restoration of the grain hall and belfry took place but it did not get any more beautiful. There is even talk of mutilations. Things got worse on Oct. 27, 1914, when Belgian engineer troops blew up the tower with dynamite to prevent the advancing Germans from using it. In the war years that follow, the entire city is reduced to rubble.
Reconstruction led by Josef Viérin
From 1921 through 1923, the belfry was reconstructed with the original material. The 1875 “mutilations” will not return, and even embellishments will be made. The belfry will receive a new crowning more in line with the regional church towers. After meticulous reconstruction, the new grain hall is indistinguishable from its predecessor.
Architecture and features
The tower has a height of 35 meters and is built in late Gothic style with materials such as yellow bricks, tiles and slate. The belfry has octagonal corner turrets and a pyramidal spire with a weather vane with the symbols of the city coat of arms: a ship and a lion.
Museum space and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Today, the grain hall serves primarily as a reception and exhibition space, while the belfry has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1999 along with 23 other belfry towers in Flanders. Visitors can visit the grain hall only during exhibitions or events.
The Belfry has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 and is also classified as a protected monument by the Royal Commission on Monuments and Sites of Belgium.
#1 Website Les Beffrois, Les Perrons & Les Rolands accessed August 3, 2023
#2 2003, Along Flemish Belfries and Townhouses, Michiel Heirman, Davidsfonds Publishers, Leuven.
#3 Singing Towers,” Andreas Dill & Luc Rombouts, Davidsfonds Leuven, 2017.
#4 Website onroerenderfgoed.be, accessed August 3, 2023.
#5 Website Wikipedia, accessed August 3, 2023.
Completed tower: 1385:
Building material: yellow coastal brick
Architect: Josef Viérin (rebuilt 1923)
Style period: Late Gothic
Height: 35 meters
Belfort opening hours
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except during Flemish school vacations. From April 1 through Sept. 30, open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each time(last admission at 4 p.m.).
Accommodation options in Nieuwpoort
Part of our pre-fun consists of booking accommodation. For us, combining a visit to a belfry with an overnight stay near it completes the experience and gives us more time to gather information.
Food and drink
During our visit to Newport, we visited several classrooms to have something to eat, drink and, above all, taste the atmosphere. After all, not only information hunger needs to be satisfied. Do you have another absolute tip where a visit to the Westhoek should be culinary or can you tip the ultimate pub? Then send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Breakfast à la Montana
Our penchant for authentic places to stay with a good chance of a lively evening brought us this time to Hotel Montana in De Panne. A cozy family hotel within walking distance of the beach where we feasted on the “tastiest mussels ever” in restaurant La Furnoise with a long afterglow in Bar Oasis. Pictured is breakfast on La Montana’s terrace.
The three most recent posts
On this page we have collected all the relevant information for visiting this belfry. To keep this up to date, we are constantly on our way to one of the 56 belfries on the Unesco World Heritage List. Below are the latest additions.
Notice of an unexpected visit to theater Kalleke Step in Grembergen during a planned visit to Dendermonde.
Report on the visit to Dendermonde City Hall and the Hollandse Kazerne with the common thread: Ros Carillon
Visit Belfry of Dendermonde 2023 Rein had managed to get in touch with Patrick Segers, the head of the Tourism Department in Dendermonde, and make an appointment to tour the Belfry. Not only was Patrick waiting for us in front of the Belfry and City Hall but he turned...