Garden policy: BELGIUM - Wallonia

 Institution(s) in charge


 Other actors

  • Royal Association of Historic Homes and Gardens of Belgium
    This non-profit organization publishes a journal "Historic Homes and Gardens" in Dutch and French whose content is essentially directed towards the study, discovery and protection of the historic real estate heritage and awareness of its heritage richness.
  • Open gardens in Belgium
    This non-profit organization ensures the tourism enhancement of Wallonia's exceptional parks and gardens. The site aims to enhance Wallonia's exceptional parks and gardens and presents parks and gardens open to the public. In collaboration with the Office of the General Commissioner for Tourism, it organizes picnics in the gardens in order to discover them in an original way.
  • Wallonia Parks and Gardens
    This non-profit organisation presents a programme resuming the activities offered (guided tours, rally, garden party, ...) in more than 200 private gardens and parks throughout Belgium.


 Relevant legislation


 Protection measures

Protection is based on the decree of 26 April 2018

Wallonia's real estate heritage is a common heritage of a wide variety of nature: caves, bourgeois houses, castles, churches, industrial buildings, fountains, washhouses, natural sites, gardens or parks...

The mission of the Walloon Heritage Agency is to put in place the protection of property whose heritage interest is recognized as to be transmited to future generations.

Ranking (art.3, 7)

The classification is an official recognition of the heritage value of a property by the community. It is established by a decision of the Walloon Government.

To ensure the sustainability of the heritage, a property can be classified as:

  1. a monument:  any isolated and remarkable architectural, sculptural or plant achievement, in what happens the elements immobilized by incorporation or destination and the cultural goods that are part of it ingest, is not the accounting equipment and the decorative elements;
  2. an architectural ensemble:  any grouping of buildings, including the elements that link them, remarkable for its coherence or integration into the landscape;
  3. a site:  any work of nature or any work of man and nature that constitutes a remarkable space in view of one or more critics covered in Article 11, sufficiently characteristic and coherent to be the subject of a topographical delimitation.

Wallonia's list of outstanding real estate assets

The Walloon Government establishes the list of Wallonia's exceptional real estate assets. The criteria for the properties listed on the property have been governed by guidelines that are the UNESCO World Heritage List. Currently, the list has been put in place by decree of the Walloon Government of 6 October 2016: 193 properties are registered under the title of exceptional heritage of Wallonia, to which are added 22 elements of properties.

The classification does not consider the type of property. It is globally considered that the listed heritage is evenly distributed between private and public owners.


 Existing inventories

The Inventory of Wallonia's Historic Parks and Gardens

1036 parks and gardens are collected and inventoried. The inventory's website is under construction.

This inventory was made in the spirit of respect for the Florence Charter and the Granada Convention. The inventory was made following an agreement between the Walloon region and its author Madame Nathalie de Harlez de Deulin, who has collaborated with Mr. Serge Delsemme, Mrs Catherine Guisset-Lemoine and Madame Marie-Hélène Sohet.

Not all the parks and gardens analysed have been published: those of small scale and/or of recent creation were excluded. The inventory, who wants to be complete and exhaustive, is limited by the fact that urban gardens have not been studied there and by the accessibility conditions of private gardens. Nevertheless, this inventory shows to what extent the art of parks and gardens is various and specific to our region.

The inventory took more than 15 years to be finalized and covers the territory of the Walloon region. It was published in the form of 9 volumes between 1993 and 2008. It is systematically structured by Arrondissement, in order to match and complement the invention of monumental heritage. The identification of the gardens is carried out by Province, Arrondissement, Commune, locality and denomination.

A small glossary by Serge Delsemme (landscaper) appears in each public volume.

Inventory's cards include:

  • Some typical information: property status (private/public), open or not to the public, listed or not;
  • Mapping allowing to assess the evolution over time of the parks and gardens studied;
  • A historical opinion that feeds the knowledge of these gardens;
  • References;
  • A technical description of parks and gardens; specifying when possible: the type of garden, the designer(s), dating, area, architectural elements, vegetal elements, vegetable garden, water;
  • A comment briefly evaluating the state of preservation of the set or specific items;
  • A comment on maintenance;
  • Photos illustrating the collected data.

The SPW-TLPE's mapping coordination service has developed simple applications of visualization allowing to visualize cartographic and associated documentary data (alphanumeric information and digitized parts).

The SPW-TLPE site, the  Operational Directorate, includes  the Departments of Land Use Planning, of Housing, of Heritage and of Energy.


 Online information


 Specialised training

The Walloon Heritage Agency includes the "Centre for Built Heritage Professions" which aims to preserve and transfer knowledge and know-how in the field of architectural heritage.  Differences in awareness, training and information activities are organized and reach a wide and diverse audience, from the youngest to the most specialized.

Under his leadership, a Master complement in the conservation and restoration of cultural and real estate heritage was born the secretary is insured by the Center.  The 5 universities (Université de Namur, Université Catholique de Louvain, Université Libre de Bruxelles,,  de Liège, of Mons) and Haute Ecole Charlemagne  have come together and participate. One of the modules of this complementary master is made to the historic parks and gardens.  


 Awareness-raising actions

  • The Walloon Heritage Agency
    It organises the “Heritage Days” in Wallonia, that are not specific to gardens. It is a regional level event taking place each 2nd weekend of September and addressed to the largest public
  • Parks and Gardens of Wallonia
    It organizes, in collaboration with the Office of the General Commissioner for Tourism, a recurrent regional level for all audiences "Picnics in the gardens" to discover the gardens concerned in an original way.


 Terminology tools



  • Heritage Library
    Specialized in archaeology, cultural heritage and decorative arts in Belgium and Europe, it contains more than 20,000 monographies and about 500 periodicals and enrich themselves regularly with the purchase of private funds. The library is mainly the legacy of the library of the former National Excavations service (now a regional service), of the Ministry of the French Community for Regional Materials and of the Library of the Royal Commission on Monuments, Sites and Excavations. The books are available for direct access and for free loan. The Heritage Library is complementary to Docatel, the SPWtlpe documentation centre.
  • René Péchère Library
    The site contains the catalogue of the René Pechère Library, which consists mainly of works dealing with the Art of gardens and the architecture of the Landscape. This library has taken the initiative to create a digital catalogue of the tables of contents of its books and magazines collections.
    The development of numerous partnerships has led to the increase of the catalogue through contributions from new public and private funds.
    It also included new multimedia collections from institutions such as ICOMOS ((International Committee of Cultural Landscapes ICOMOS-IFLA), IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) or treasures transferred by people holding archives of landscapers who have made the history of garden art and deserve to be known.
  • State Archives
    Archives in Belgium are available to all.
  • Edited by HARLEZ de DEULIN N., et al. Delsemme S., Moreau O., Hoyas D., Thematic Inventory, Parks and Historic Gardens of Wallonia, Namur, 9 volumes, edited by R.W.,
  • de DEULIN N., Wallonia Historic Parks and Gardens, Walloon Region  -  I.P.W., Namur, 2008