Belfry of Veurne
Earliest history of a Belfry in Deurne
The earliest mention of a belfry in Veurne is in the thirteenth century when mention is made of freestanding belfries in Tournai, Ghent and Veurne. In 1450 there is the first mention of a large building housing the court officers. Possibly this is the Manor House, which is not entirely clear. A tower was also built against this building. On the same spot as the present tower which was built on the foundation and substructure of this tower.
A city map from around 1565 shows a sketch of the first Manor House. Still a little later, in 1586, a merger between the caseload and the city government takes place, and the need for a larger enclosure to bring all services together also grows.
The construction of the current belfry
In 1617, construction of the present belfry began on the foundations of an older belfry. This can be inferred from a masonry stone inscribed “IACOBO A. BRIARDE BEAUVOIRDO FRANCISCO WICHUUSIO COSS. 1617. Construction was led by Pieter Granier and lasted until 1629 according to chronicler Pauwel Heinderycx (1633-1683). The facade bears the date 1628, applied with protruding brick heads in southern gable but not quite finished by then.
Restorations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
After political changes and mergers, the Manor lost its function in 1792. Restorations were carried out in the nineteenth century, including restoration of the façade and interiors. The Manor will have new functions, such as court and inn. During World War I, Veurne escaped destruction, but the belfry tower was damaged.
Damage in World War I
On the night of June 4-5, 1917, around midnight, an airplane bomb caused damage. The bomb punched a hole in the octagonal roof structure, causing the spire to lean to the west. The event is described by Jozef Gesquiere in the diary he kept from 1914 to 1918 about Veurne in World War I. Veurne comes off well because the two other bombs released over the Grote Markt are duds and do not detonate.
The belfry loses its spire
The belfry was also damaged in World War II. In July 1940, the spire burns out and the damage is extensive. Photos from 1943 show that by then the entire spire was gone. It was restored after the war, and as of late 1950 the belfry was intact again.
Repurposing and recognition
In the 1980s, the court left the building and cultural and tourist services and the city archives moved into the Manor House. In 1999, the Manor House and Belfry were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Further restoration and maintenance work will take place between 1995 and 2016, including modernization of facilities and accessibility. An exhibit on World War I will be installed in 2014, and the building will get a new elevator and washroom facilities.
#1 2003, Along Flemish Belfries and Townhouses, Michiel Heirman, Davidsfonds Publishers, Leuven.
#3 Singing Towers,” Andreas Dill & Luc Rombouts, Davidsfonds Leuven, 2017.
#5 Gesquiere, Joseph, and G Gyselen. Veurne During World War 1914-1918 : Diary. Bruges: Society for History, 1979.
#7 Luc Danhieux, “Rise and flowering of the belfries, their significance,” West Flanders 11.61 (1962).
#8 J. Hindryckx. City of Veurne, historical notes monuments, Imprimerie de Charleroi.
Building material: yellow regional brick
Builder: Peter Granier
Style period: Renaissance
Height: 50 meters
Accessibility: not accessible
Belfort opening hours
April 1 – November 15:
Week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nov. 16 – March 31:
Week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekend from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed on Mondays
Accommodation options in Veurne
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.
The Veurnse Slaper is a brand new **** B&B in the center of Veurne 150 meters from the main market. Choice of 7 beautiful, spacious rooms with every possible comfort. In the morning, we offer…
Relax completely in one of our beautiful rooms with high ceilings and typical decoration. We will end your stay with a full breakfast of delicious local produce and bread from our own bakery….
Food and drink
During our visit to Dendermonde, 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 Dendermonde should be culinary or can you tip the ultimate pub? Then send a message to: email@example.com.
Just a quick stop in Veurne. The only establishment we visit is brasserie Excelsior for a quick refreshment. Too bad because we look entranced at the menu that presents regional dishes, grandmotherly cuisine and refined suggestions under the motto “At mo many and goeid is”.
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...