Open Monumentendag 2021
The Eilands of Southwest Flanders
Explore more than 500 sites in the region!
A cultural landscape.
The moated homesteads of Southwest Flanders are vernacular settlements that are surrounded by water, hidden within the urban sprawl of the city. In late medieval times there were more than 500 of them which constituted a network stretching from the urban centers to the countryside across the whole region, following the course of water.
Nowadays, a lot of these spaces have evolved into social catalysts with different vocations: educational, recreational, cultural, environmental... Some of these moated homesteads still have intact moats, others are incomplete, and many have altogether disappeared.
From above, these sites look like islands, or in Dutch: “eilanden”… What can their story teach us? How can they help us reorient our vision of urban life and project us into a sustainable future?