Flanders Week in Gdansk: Heritage Events

Old Houses and Motlawa, Gdansk

A number are events taking place in Gdansk during Flanders Week. Listed below are the heritage related events:

40 Years Protecting the industrial heritage in Flanders

17 March: 17:00 - 25 April 22:00
The Instytut Sztuki Wyspa, Wyspa Institue of Art

The first industrial building in Flanders was protected by law in August 1975: the old distillery ‘Stellingwerff-Theunissen’ in Hasselt, which then seemed to be doomed for demolishment and to be replaced by modern flats. Thanks to a local citizen’s campaign (1973-1975) the building was protected, a couple of years later bought by the city council and restored. The old distillery is now proudly the seat of the National Museum of Distilling.

In 1976, when the new regional law on the conservation of monuments was voted in the Flemish parliament, this law for the first time in Europe used the term‘industrial archaeology’ in a legal text, as a justification for legal protection. Since hundreds of buildings have been protected, restored, re-used. The exhibition presents a selection of the protected buildings, tells their story, the history and development of the preservation of industrial heritage in Flanders.

Exhibition realized by the Flemish Association for Industrial Archaeology with the support of the Flemish Immovable Heritage Agency.

Volunteers saving industrial heritage in Flanders

17 March 18:00-21:00
The Instytut Sztuki Wyspa, Wyspa Institue of Art

The workshop presents the contribution of volunteers and voluntary associations to the conservation, restoration and interpretation of industrial heritage in Flanders: the power of citizen’s initiatives. They campaign to save buildings and – in some cases – even have taken over an industrial site, restoring it, running it as a museum or just opening it to the public.

– introduction:
– case studies

Adriaan Linters, chairman VVIA (Flemish Association for Industrial Archaeology) and gen.-secretary of E-FAITH (European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage): Volunteers and volunteering for the industrial heritage in Europe and Flanders

– Philippe Winderickx: Restoring, managing and opening to the public of the Herisem paper-mill 1975-2015. The role of volunteers and private initiative

– Luc Verbeeck: Volunteers preserving the last remains of the brickmaking landscape of the Rupel-valley. The Ecomuseum and Archives of the Brick Region, a non profit trust, 1985-2015

– Frank Becuwe: The malthouse and brewery ‘De Snoek’: saved and restored by volunteers, since 25 years a museum run by volunteers

– Jef Vrelust: Volunteers helping with the restoration of the legally protected harbour cranes in Antwerp

– Discussion, interaction with the public, exchange of ideas and experiences

Language: English


Seminar 'Town development and heritage protection'

18 March 09:00-17:00
Aula of the Academy of Arts

Poland and Flanders have entertained a long-standing relationship going back to the Middle Ages. During that period Flemings emigrated to North Poland for religious or economic reasons. The Shakespeare Theatre and ’Green Gate’ in the city of Gdańsk took shape on the drawing boards of Flemish architects. The theatre has been rebuilt and the Green Gate restored. Together with numerous other buildings they make up today the scenery in which the city of Gdańsk is renewed and develops. That scenery of heritage is one thing Gdańsk, Mechelen and Ghent have in common.

The presence of heritage and protected buildings and sights within historical cities constitutes a particular challenge. That challenge is another thing the three cities have in common.

Enough content for a seminar. A seminar on re-use, sustainable restoration and how to finance it. On the socio-economic impact of city development and the preservation of monuments and historic buildings. On the importance of green areas for sustainable and liveable cities.

During the seminar we will have a look at and listen to Gdańsk, Mechelen and Ghent. Experts and partners will present good practices and research. All guests are invited for the debate following the presentations in the round table sessions.

Round tables:

  • “The re-use of heritage as part of town development”
  • “Socio economic impact of town development and heritage protection”
  • “Combining the re-use of heritage protected buildings with sustainable energy use”
  • “Developing modern livable city centres with respect for historic heritage and attention for green public spaces”

A network reception will close this interesting day.

The seminar is an initiative of the Belgian Business Chamber, the Flemish Building Confederation, the city of Mechelen, the city of Ghent, the Government of Flanders and the city of Gdańsk.

The above content was sourced from the Flanders Week website: flandersweekgdansk.eu/en/events/

The image above is "Old Houses and Motlawa [Gdansk]" by Kishjar, and was sourced via Flickr. Original link and full license details here.