City Hall and Belfry: Overall view, bell tower and Landhuis at center
Originally, a belfry was erected as a sign of communal independence obtained by charter, and as the very symbol of freedom. Compared to the keep (symbol of the seigneurs, i.e. feudal lord) and to the bell-tower (symbol of the Church), the belfry, the third tower in the urban landscape, symbolizes the power of the aldermen. Over the centuries, belfries came to represent the influence and wealth of the towns. In Furnes, the belfry stands next to the Landhuis, the city hall. Both are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The belfry was built 1628, burned 1940, since restored. The Stadhuis was built between 1596 and 1612. The Landshuis was completed in 1621.