As I was reading through my Twitter list this morning, one of the travellers I follow mentioned visiting over 100 UNESCO World Heritage sites. I found that pretty impressive, even if it is someone who travels full-time.
As someone whose bucket list includes visiting every continent, I was curious about how many of the UNESCO sites I’ve visited and decided to create my own list, which you can see here.
It turns out, I’ve seen 54 sites which sounds pretty good until you learn that the entire UNESCO World Heritage Site list contains 890 sites. It looks like I have a lot more travelling to do…
In regards to the Belgian World Heritage sites, there were a few surprises. Of course there were such travel standards as Brussels Grand Place, Bruges and the Victor Horta Buildings. But I had never even heard of the Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons) or the Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex. I have also not yet visited The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault), or Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai. I have added Stoclet House to my list because I’ve passed by it a million times. Although I would love to go inside, it is still privately owned and tours are rare.
The Belfries of Belgium and France is a long list containing 56 belfries in total, with 33 in Belgium. I’m not entirely sure why they are all lumped together. I would have thought that Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal in Antwerp, at least, would have deserved its own mention.
I was surprised not to see anything about the battle fields of Flanders, such as the Menin Gate in Ypres. And as usual, Wallonia was basically overlooked. The Fort in Namur would have been one of my choices, or even the Meuse Valley in general (since the Rhine in Germany is on the list). I would also consider adding the Spa town centre. I’m sure there is a rigorous set of criteria that might eliminate my choices but hey, this is my blog and I’m all-inclusive.
So, I’m curious, if you were on the World Heritage site committee, what Belgian sites would you want to see added?
In the meantime, why not check out our list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.