Northeast Belgium

Lier’s most iconic monument is the photogenic Zimmertoren, a partly 14th-century tower incorporating a fanciful 1930 timepiece that’s eccentrically overendowed with dials, zodiac signs, and a globe on which the Congo remains forever Belgian. At noon, a procession of figures – including Belgium's first kings – emerge from the south face. Paying the entrance fee allows horology fanatics to check out the mechanisms and an attached museum.

The museum includes a second 1935 astronomical Wonder Clock with 93 dials and representation of relative gravities: it wowed at the 1939 New York World's Fair but might not be so thrilling for nonspecialists; and the slow-moving half-hour video tends to clash with other push-button audio soundtracks if the museum isn't entirely empty.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northeast Belgium attractions

1. Lier Begijnhof


Originally founded in 1258, this Unesco site is one of Belgium’s prettiest 'street' begijnhoven, a picture-perfect grid of cobbled lanes lined with…

2. St-Gummaruskerk

0.18 MILES

Stand amid the flowerboxes of the Aragonstraat bridge and look southeast for a beautiful perspective on this huge Gothic church with its distinctive clock…

3. Stads Museum Lier

0.19 MILES

Undergoing a total renovation at the time of research, this well-endowed provincial art gallery sits behind a classic step-gabled facade and, when…

4. Speelgoedmuseum

7.64 MILES

With 7000 sq metres of dolls, teddies, toys, games and other pastimes, the wonderful Speelgoedmuseum has lots to keep the kids busy. Meanwhile, adults can…

5. Kazerne Dossin

7.68 MILES

The 18th-century Dossin Barracks were used by the Nazis as a WWII deportation centre. Some 25,834 victims (mainly Jewish, 352 Roma) were sent in 28…

6. Hof van Busleyden

7.79 MILES

After years of preparation, Mechelen's historical museum should have reopened by the time you read this, offering state-of-the-art interactive exhibits…

7. Mechelen Gerechtsgebouw

7.83 MILES

The city’s step-gabled courthouse was once Margaret of Austria's palace (from 1506). Despite many subsequent alterations, it maintains a gorgeous…

8. De Wit Royal Manufacturers

7.84 MILES

Established in 1889, this workshop is one of the few places in Belgium where you can see contemporary tapestries being woven and antique ones from all…