Belfry of Sluis

Groote Markt 1, 4524 CD Sluis Netherlands

Our dress rehearsal

Visit in February 2018

A beautiful encounter

However, an unexpected encounter befalls us when we enter the attic of City Hall. It turns out to be Noël Reynders, the former city carillonneur of Sint-Truiden….

Belfry of Sluis

Concise history:

Exactly when the construction of the belfry of Sluis began is not entirely clear. 1375 is mentioned but also 1382 and 1386. In 1382, Count Louis of Male, the last autonomous count of Flanders, ordered the fortification of Sluis. In 1386, Sluis comes into the possession of Philip the Bold (his later son-in-law) who will further expand the fortifications. Construction of the belfry, then called the gatehouse, must have begun sometime during this period. On the north side, an alderman’s house was built at the same time. They were ravaged by fire in 1393, and the alderman’s house was immediately repaired. The gatehouse only in 1423. The alderman’s hall was moved to the gatehouse in that year. The alderman’s house was still in use as a weigh house for a time and was demolished in 1798.

There are two main events that took place in the belfry. In 1430 the marriage between Philip the Good and Isabella of Portugal was performed there, and in 1468 the betrothal of Charles the Bold to Margaret of York took place.

The gatehouse was restored from 1894-1904, but destroyed during the Allied bombing of Oct. 11, 1944. In the process, the city archives and a large number of art treasures were lost.

The belfry was rebuilt from 1956-1960 as the only one of the historic buildings in downtown Sluis. The bellman Jantje van Sluis was also reinstalled on the tower.

Jantje van Sluis may call himself the oldest clockmaker in the Netherlands. It is a wooden sculpture possibly made by one Jacob van Hu(u)se. In 1424, it was placed in one of the arched windows. These mechanical “clochemans” ensure that the pre-chime of the city clock resounds every lol and half hour.



Building Material:

Style period:


Number of steps:




natural stone


in combination with a visit to the museum

Opening hours

Oct. 1 through May 31 Wednesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, the museum is closed.

June 1 through Sept. 30, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Admission possible until 4 p.m.


Museum The Belfry

Call: +31(0)117 461 700



Accommodation options in Sluis

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.

Hotel-Restaurant de Dikke van Dale

Hotel-Restaurant Dikke van Dale offers rooms in a restored 19th century monastery, just 450 meters from the historic center of Sluis….

Rivers Hotel

Located in Sluis, 16 km from Bruges, Rivers Hotel offers a sun terrace and river views. For a drink, visit the on-site bar. Retrieved 5 minutes….

Hotel Sanders de Paauw

Hotel Sanders de Paauw is located in Sluis, a small village in the extreme southwest of Zeeland. It has a French-Belgian restaurant and rooms with WiFi….

Food and drink

During our visit to Sluis, we spontaneously visited some premises to take care of the inner man as well. If you have any additions or an absolute tip where a visit to Sluis should be culinarily graced please send a message to:

1. Hotel the Elderschans

After the waiter mentioned that he was actually Elvis and had worked at Hotel de Elderschans for years, we didn’t pay much attention to the food. The evening that unfolded next was as surprising as the food and great fun!

Hotel the Elderschans

2. Heart of Sluis

Hart van Sluis is a versatile catering establishment on the Groote Markt, opposite the historic town hall, the belfry. There is a small menu for lunch and snacks, an assortment of sweets for coffee, appetizers for drinks and an extensive a la carte menu for dinner.

Heart of Sluis

3. Bistro De Smoef

During our visit, there was an excellent steak on the menu. Friendly service and great value for money!

Website Bistro De Smoef

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.

Visit Belfry of Dendermonde 2023

Visit Belfry of Dendermonde 2023

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...