Lier is a coquettish small town in Belgium, located at the confluence of the rivers Grote Nete and Kleine Nete. Part of the province of Antwerp, and only 40 minutes by train from Brussels, Lier offers all the charm and coziness your perfect, out-of-the-way romantic getaway needs.
To immerse comfortably into Lier’s atmosphere and culture, start with finding the best place to rest your head. Beautiful hotels and guesthouses are not lacking here. The most emblematic one is undoubtedly the Zimmerhof Hotel. The 4-star hotel offers a contemporary and extraordinary interior and is housed in the historic buildings Rusthof van Acker-Peeters and the Prisoner’s Gate.
Everybody who loves spa and wellness treatments knows that its deep roots have grown in the Belgian town of Spa. But when was the last time you have been to a spa and wellness aqua park oasis? If this strikes a chord, then LAGO De Waterperels is the right place for you. It offers an adventure for the children and well-deserved rest and enjoyment for everyone else. Do not miss the opportunity to break away from the boring everyday life for a few hours.
The former Cornelius Tower, the Zimmer Tower was built in the 14th century as a part of the town’s ramparts and was turned into a museum in 1930. The Jubilee Clock was created by Louise Zimmer – a clock-maker and Honorary Citizen of Lier. The Jubilee Clock is a masterpiece with no less than 13 different dials – showing the official time, equation of time, zodiac, solar orb and dominical letter, the terrestrial globe, weekdays, dates, months, seasons, tides, moon’s age, phases of the moon and moon’s orbit with epact.
De Mol, the cultural centre of Lier, has one of the largest halls in the region, where music festivals, jazz concerts, and many different kinds of performing arts events are regularly organized. The Town Hall (Stadhuis) is built in the Brabant Rococo style. It has its own belfry (Peperbus) which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. St Gummarus Church is an example of Brabantine Gothic and has hosted numerous royalty wedding celebrations and baptisms.
The Bell monument is located in the park of the Municipal Music Academy. The bells form a carillon, a complex musical contraption from the Baroque period. One of the last carillons in the world has been restored and is to be found in Lier. While you are exploring the town, you may hear blues and jazz songs, coming from the carillon.
The Stadsmuseum Lier is located in the city centre. A skeleton of a real mammoth was found in Lier in 1860 and is exhibited in the city’s museum. The museum has a rich collection of artworks as well, all of them focused on the people of Lier, their lifestyle and customs.
A beguinage (Begijnhof) is a closed complex where unmarried women and widows lived quietly, dedicating their lives to God. The beguinages in Lier are an assemblage of premises, houses, and churches. The last beguine of Lier died in 1994. This fascinating Flemish cultural complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
If you hop on-board one of the old eel-fishing cruise boats, you may discover the hidden scenic corners of the town. While slowly navigating through the channels, do not close your eyes for a second! Otherwise, you risk missing the enchanting view around – buildings in the Gothic and Rococo style, parks, monuments, the prison, and, of course, the old Fishmarket (Vismarkt). Besides the river cruises, you can also enjoy some time canoeing, kayaking, or fishing.
After the Fishmarket, be sure to pass by some of the other colourful markets – the flower one, the one for fresh fruits and vegetables, the meat market and the pigeon market. With all this abundance around, no doubt that your stomach will eventually start growling with hunger! A cozy square with quite a number of pubs and bars is located in the doorsteps of the Zimmer Tower. Beautiful view, delicious food, the popular Lier beer Caves, and tender jazz music coming from the carillon… what better ending of a perfect day?
Tourism in Belgium is developing every year. Tourists’ attention is attracted not only by the usual paths and sights, but also the small towns with their peculiar and unique spirit, cuisine and customs. When it comes to perfect little spots for a romantic getaway, charming Lier ranks quite high among them.
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