Art as a Source of Travel Inspiration in Belgium

By - April 20, 2012 (Updated: November 19, 2014)


Lambiek sculpture in Middelkerke (photo by Artshooter)

Belgium’s major galleries and museums are clearly marked on the tourist trail, but there is also a wealth of public art to be found outdoors beyond the walls of the traditional institutions. Not only is it free, you’ll also avoid the tourist queues. You just need to know where to look. The Public Art In Belgium Flickr group is one tool that can help.

For the past few years I’ve been using Flickr to collate photographs of public art all over Belgium. The group is approaching its 3rd anniversary and well over 100 people have contributed 1600 pictures already.

With so many great pictures to browse through, it’s a great source of inspiration for your next day out in Belgium and a chance to see a town through the eyes of fellow visitors rather than just the usual tourist leaflets.

Here are a few examples of the kind of surprises you’ll find in the group. (Links are given to images to respect the photographers’ copyright)

Liège – Le Plongeur (Idel Ianchelevici)

“Taureau”, by Francis André. Campus of the University of Liège, Belgium.

An afternoon on the beach in De Panne. You may also have seen these elephants in Terveuren:

Ungayithenga inhlizyo nomongo wami

Ungayithenga inhlizyo nomongo wami by artist Andries Botha (Photo by Artshooter)

Photographic prowess isn’t a must for contributing to the group. It is just as interesting to document a town’s hidden gems or temporary art event and there are plenty of those in Belgium.

For example, this unexpected shot shows some of the logistics of art such as Antony Gormley figures laid on the beach at De Panne waiting to be loaded onto a truck.

Or these before and after shots of a new sculpture in Mechelen wrapped up and in storage.

Then a couple of days after once it had been placed.

The aim is to have more than 2000 photos in the group pool by the 3rd anniversary in May, so if you’re out and about in Belgium this month ( especially at Beaufort04 ), snap those sculptures or temporary installations and add them to the group. Most important of all, have fun discovering new places and appreciating all the free art.

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Gilbert makes stuff on the web. He has been a web developer since 1999 but recently gave it all up to start a new company, Search Cog, to help website owners can get real insights from their Google analytics data. He is also a co-organiser of Start Up Weekend Brussels. He goes by the handle @blueclock on Twitter.


  1. Comment by Gilbert

    Gilbert May 2, 2012 at 21:08

    I’ve been pushing hard to find new content and members for the group and we reached the 2000 picture target on May 1.

    There’s some great new subjects in there including some from the Beaufort04

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison May 3, 2012 at 11:43

      Congrats on meeting your goal! I hope people get out and enjoy some of the great public art available this summer!

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