Unesco’ s list comprises 33 belfries located in Belgium (26 in Flanders and 7 in Wallonia) and 23 belfries located in northern France. The historical past of Flanders, Wallonia and northern France are attached to these belfries; scholars suppose that the belfry is a product of the Middle Ages.
The belfry is considered as a symbol and sometimes a watchtower; however it recognises the commune and the geographical boundary of a tribal settlement built at the city centre. Its destruction means the destruction of the historical identity of the settlement.
These high towers built in the heart of urban areas, often dominating the principal square, carry essential elements of the organised settlements of a group of people; the belfries represent the goods each region produces keeping the town at the centre. It attracts people’s gathering and thus becomes the site of cultural and religious attention.
Root of Beffroi is in ‘bepari’ means ‘ a trader’; it also recognises two other words i.e. ‘bebhara’ and ‘passara’ which mean ‘items of gift’ and’ items on sale’ respectively. These historical buildings speak of the land from which its people migrated.
Most of them are ‘Bell Towers’ that announces people to gather from different neighbouring places not only for trading purposes but also for sharing cultural and religious sentiments.
Coat of arms of Comines, Armentières, Charleroi, Herentals, Rue, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Hesdin and Tielt etc. collectively speak of their common past from where the inhabitants of the belfries regions migrated. Coat of arms of Herentals identifies the Tree of Wisdom of the Buddha, A single Star in other coat of arms means the Kingship Star of David and birth Star of Christ; in other coat of arms the City of Sun, and the Kingdom of Moon are placed in order to locate the region of Heaven where the Star of David rises. The Key(s) in the coat of arms marks a ‘land’ in this shape on the seacoast that accompanies rest of the symbols in a compact geographical pocket.