Tour Information

Tour Information Experience Belgian culture and tradition on a narrated tour of the largest Belgian settlement in the United States. A step-on guide will provide your tour group with a customized experience which may include:

• Belgian Heritage Center
• Namur National Landmark Historic District
• 1894 former convent and parochial school
• Belgian architecture
• Roadside chapels
• Belgian food and drink
• National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

To arrange a tour, call 920-493-5969 or email tourinfo@belgianheritagecenter.org

About the Tour

Tour the Namur National Historic District, the first rural area in the United States to achieve this designation. See traditional Belgian homes built as early as the 1880’s and visit charming roadside chapels. Experience Belgian food, hear the Walloon language and see significant places in the settlement’s culture and history. View Application Form

Namur Historic District

Namur Historic District In 1989/90, the Belgian settlement in and around Namur was listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a National Landmark, the first rural area in the United States to achieve this distinction. As indicated in the Application to the National Park Service:

“In this area Belgian immigrants employed traditional and adapted architectural and construction forms which were distinctive and defined. Traditional Walloon village and agricultural settlement patterns, with a church and related religious features as their nuclei, were transplanted to Wisconsin. The distinctive masonry building traditions of Belgium were retained and adapted, while a large concentration of log buildings reflects the adaptation of American pioneer building materials and methods. Today this enclave reflects an architectural expression that is exceptional in the rural American landscape. While Belgians settled in other parts of America, this region retains the nation's largest known concentration of farmsteads, other rural buildings, and landscape features pertaining to this ethnic group, and has perhaps the purest retention of other distinctive cultural features from the Walloon region of that country.”

 

Roadside Chapels

Roadside Chapels The wayside votive chapels in the Belgian settlement are a religious tradition from the old world. Because settlers made their homes in a wilderness where churches were few and far between, many continued this tradition by building a family chapel devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary or a special saint.

The chapels contain a small altar decorated with religious pictures and statues, flowers and candles. Traditionally, roadside chapels were open to all worshippers and several remain accessible today.

Tours of several roadside chapels and a visit to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help are available. See the brochure below for more information. View Chapel Brochure

Former Convent and School House (Peninsula Belgian American Club)

Peninsula Belgian American Club Peninsula Belgian American Club Peninsula Belgian American Club
The Peninsula Belgian American Club has restored the former parochial school and convent which now houses many artifacts of Belgian and Catholic history.

National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion is where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared in 1859 to a young Belgian girl. This is where Sister Adele established a chapel and school and began her work to teach the children and inspire the faithful of the settlement area.

In 2010, the apparition was decreed worthy of belief by the Catholic Church, one of about a dozen such sites in the world and the only one in the United States.

Traditional Belgian Lunch

A traditional Belgian lunch is available and may include booyah, trippe, jutt and Belgian pie.

Contact us for details about how your group can be served.

Contact Information

Belgian Heritage Center
1255 County DK/PO Box 173
Brussels, Wisconsin 54204
920-825-1199 or 920-825-1328

Hours of Operation

The Belgian Heritage Center is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May through October. We are also open throughout the year by appointment - please contact us at least one week in advance of your visit.