The Belfry of Gembloux is one of the 33 “Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia” (Belgium) that the UNESCO inscribed onto its list of world cultural heritage in 1999, except the Belfry of Gembloux, which joined the renamed list in 2005. In the same year, 23 belfries from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie régions in the northern tip of France were appended to the list. Today this group is called “Belfries of Belgium and France”.
The Belfry of Gembloux is a communal tower of 35m in height. It is situated on a rocky spur near the Orneau River and in the centre of Gembloux (Belgium). In fact, it is the tower of the former church Saint-Sauveur. The building was renovated and its height increased, so that it could serve communal purposes. The bell tower was officially declared belfry at the beginning of the 19th century. Since 2005 it is part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
The church Saint-Sauveur, the most important parish of Gembloux, was built in the 12th century on the bases and foundations of a building dating from the 10th century.
In the 19th century, the church was closed for services and in 1825, the nave and the choir were demolished, because of their very dilapidated state.
But the bell tower was remained and renovated in order to be officially declared Belfry of Gembloux.
In 1889, a covering of bricks was installed. In September 1905, a fire destructed the upper part of the tower. The lantern, which was fixed on the top of the tower in 1907, has a different design: Contrary to the former lantern, which pointed like an arrow to the sky, the new lantern is onion-shaped. A weather vane with the coat of arms of the town of Gembloux decorates its top.
47 other bells joined the four traditional bells, including the biggest one (Bourdon), in order to create a complete carillon (1962). In 2009, the carillon was renovated and modernised. So, the town of Gembloux possesses one of the two concert carillons in the province of Namur.