Bokrijk is a park and museum complex in the municipality of Genk in the Province of Limburg, Belgium.
It is known for its open-air museum which displays a large collection of historical buildings from across Flanders, presenting the history of rural life in Belgium. The domain is 5.5 square kilometres in area and hosts an important botanical garden (arboretum) and Flanders' largest open-air playground.
Although, in 2017, the Open-Air Museum itself has only witnessed fifty-nine springs, Bokrijk's history reaches a bit further back in time. ‘Buscurake’ was first mentioned in 1252. However, it would take until 1938 before the Province of Limburg became the owner of the site and 1953 before the plans to build an Open-Air Museum became official.
There are 148 authentic buildings that form the heart of the heritage collection. Also in the collection are some 30,000 pieces of everyday life from the 17th century to 1950. It has been designed ot be interactive and includes staff who take on the roles of people from different time periods. The oldest building dates back to 1507.
Although the emphasis is on farms and farming, there are other examples of village life such as a Smithy, a School, a Church, an Inn and several craftsmen buildings. Due to changes in Belgian heritage law, buildings can now only be preserved in situ. So the collection of buildings in Bokrijk that had been moved here from all over Flanders can no longer happen.
The museum's preserved buildings are centred in three clusters on the site which are arranged by the geographical region of origins:
- "The Kempen"
- "East and West Flanders"
- "Haspengouw and the Maasland"
- Additionally there is a fourth area dedicated to The Sixties in the south-west corner of the site.
Throughout the park you'll find old and new fair rides to keep the kids entertained.
During the Christmas / New Years period, special events are planned during the evening. This year, a fire display and fireworks were on the agenda.
View all pictures from this album on my Flickr.