Wiki Loves Heritage 2021 report

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Wiki Loves Heritage
Wiki Loves Heritage

Wiki Loves Heritage is a yearly photo contest of Wikimedia Belgium. We use the jury tool Montage to judge the photos to determine the winners of the photo contest.

Why do we organise the contest?[edit]

This is the fourth time we organise Wiki Loves Heritage, as an extension of the worldwide Wiki Loves Monuments that is organised since 2010.

It builds on Belgian Freedom of panorama in 2016, and the year of European Heritage in 2018.

The reason why we organise Wiki Loves Heritage is to:

Some participants only contribute to Wikimedia Commons, others are participating in several Wikipedias, or to Wikidata. User are encouraged to use Structured Data on Commons.

All participating photos Info ISA Tool

Evaluation of the photo contest Wiki Loves Heritage 2021[edit]

We would like to thank all participants, the meemoo organisation, for their close collaboration and for their effort to make this contest a success.

There were 37 participants that uploaded 2076 photos in total. We were with 9 jury members.

We selected 10 winners in the third round. Four winners already won the previous years. We have one international winner.

Some participants only contribute to Wikimedia Commons, others are participating in several Wikipedias or to Wikidata.

The prize winners will be individually contacted for the delivery of the prize.

I want to thank the jury members Dirk, Dominique, Emil, Frans, Geert, Inge, Johan, Katja, and Rouhollah for their effort in selecting the best images.


The winners of Wiki Loves Heritage 2021 in Belgium are:

Château de Walzin[edit]

1. Walzin, Château
Château de Walzin
User:Nenea hartia

Majestic image, from the raw to the constructed, from nature to culture. In a combination of soft green, grey and blue. The dominance of the castle is expressed by the "frog's perspective" from which the photograph was taken. The castle thrones in all its glory, high on the rock against a bright blue sky. Colour and perspective contribute to the representation of that dominance, so that it does not need to be expressed in words. The photo is 'speaking'.

Beautiful composition, showing the power/art of man who can create an immense work of art in the midst of nature. A beautiful photo of a majestic castle on imposing rocks. What makes this photo so special is the hardness of the rocks and stones with the grey colours, the green trees and bushes and the beautiful uniform blue sky.

The medieval castle of Walzin appears here in all its splendour! This magnificent photo shows it from an angle, a perspective that few know. Indeed, with the abolition of the water ferry service in the 1970s and the absence of a bridge over the river, the lack of development of the other bank and the "private property" signs, only the intrepid photographers aimed at this rock! Certainly, the many enthusiasts of the descent of the Lesse remember this impressive monument, its ascendancy over history. This masterly photograph, well framed, with true colours, will help to discover this angle of view and contribute to the valorisation of the site.

Oude ophaalbrug van Teralfene[edit]

2. Teralfene, oude ophaalbrug

This photo is appealing because of the theme portrayed: an industrial drawbridge. The photo is very successful because of its harmonious colour scheme: the alternation of green, orange, blue and a touch of white and the spatial distribution of physical elements and their reflection in the water. This gives the heritage something very living instead of old and rusty. The correct light intensity also contributes to this effect. The framing is right: the bridge is shown in its entirety, and a little more of its surroundings, but not too much so that it doesn't disappear from the picture.

A beautifully aligned photo with an eye for every detail, even through the water. A photo that holds your attention because there is so much to see. The train in the background is a plus. Both the railway track and the river Dender have shaped history and still determine the daily lives of the inhabitants.

Here, the photographer has certainly achieved one of his goals: in my case, to arouse curiosity. I activated google maps, google search to find out more, I found it. The bridge, its operators and restorers deserve historical research, a diversion on a beautiful summer's day. The photograph with its perfect lighting, its successful reflection, its correct framing is the ambassador of this public work. It should be promoted to the local authorities or featured on an encyclopaedia page.

Amerikaanse begraafplaats van Henri-Chapelle[edit]

3. Henri-Chapelle, Amerikaanse begraafplaats
Cimetière américain de Henri-Chapelle

This photo might have been the winner? What a play of lines, that takes your eye through the whole photo, making the number of crosses even more impressive. The photo convinces with its depth perspective of the many arches of successive rows of graves, with the inclusion of the statue in the foreground, appealing to an idea of victory. Victory and peace at a glance: their deaths were not in vain. We honour those who died.

Wikimedia Commons has several pictures available of this cemetery from the Second World War. This picture stands out because of the perspective chosen. The viewer's eye is drawn along the slightly curved lines on which the crosses are placed. The perspective is further enhanced by the slightly sloping hillside and the "Angel of Peace" sculpture by Donal Hord in the foreground. The background is formed by the edge of the forest, which forms a natural barrier to the vastness of the cemetery. It gives the photo an intimate character that invites reflection.

The perspective with the immensely long and parallel rows of white crosses. A perspective that one would only consider possible with a representation of space-time. No, this is real! It is a shot in curved geometry, impeccably done, beautifully balanced.

Begraafplaats van Brussel[edit]

4. Brussel, begraafplaats
Begraafplaats van Brussel

Sadness and transience, a woman weeping for a deceased loved one? The photograph succeeds in evoking the atmosphere of the cemetery. By restricting the colour to black and white and by the distribution of light and the predominant dark. Through the elements portrayed: the overgrowth of plants on the graves, the tangle and intertwining of trees in a rather wintry landscape that gives mortal man back to nature. Sadness, symbolised by a kneeling and stooped woman, chiselled in stone with male strength. The image speaks, undoubtedly, through the age-old combination of femininity with emotionality, with surrender and dependence: a strength and/or a constriction based on the dichotomous male/female thinking?

Unlike many other photos of cemeteries, this one indeed evokes much more the atmosphere of hopelessness and unbearable grief: grey as an expression of mourning. Because the photographer submitted this photo in black and white, the sadness and grief become even more intense. The strength and sadness lies mainly in the beautiful lighting in this photo, which makes it possible to see so many different dark shades. This is further accentuated by the position of the kneeling woman in this photo. Every detail comes to the fore in this photo, and the photographer can take credit for having captured this beautifully.

Everyone is touched by this photo. Dark, precise, perfectly framed, with the mastery of black and white, it leads us to sadness! But we are in a photographic contest, we free ourselves from the feeling and the beauty of the work bursts before our eyes, with it the admiration for the sculptor, the precision of the marble worker and the work of maintaining the scene. May this picture carry with it the image of perfection achieved by our elders. Congratulations on this composition.

Ascenseur van Canal du Centre[edit]

5. Strépy-Bracquegnies, Ascenseur Canal du Centre
User:Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer)

Another successful photograph of an industrial heritage site. A grey construction in a summery dry landscape: it is there. The photo bears witness to its existence. It is a tribute to human ingenuity, to engineering. It is a "masculine" construction, emphasised by the material used: rigid steel and by the flags hoisted, which refer to dominance and domination, to victory over nature.

The photographer's location is well chosen; the viewer immediately notices the height differences in the landscape, which illustrate the function of the construction in a self-evident manner. The photo shows that technical "monuments" can be captured beautifully together with nature and water. It is also a photo that demands your attention to see how it works and how it is put together, and then come to the conclusion that this is something I MUST see in person.

The economic growth of the central region in the past has stimulated industrial creativity, and this is an example of that. The picture shows how complicated it is to raise a basin with a loaded barge to a height of several metres. You can see the end of the canal, the obstacle that must be overcome. The photo makes you want to discover this site, you are ready to touch the steel, to see the structures from below and from above. In a word, to take your place in the boat that is about to rise. Bravo, the photo has achieved its goal.

Molens van Ruisbroek[edit]

6. Ruisbroek, Molens

Impressive photograph depicting the Ruisbroek windmills. The photographer had an eye for the enormous size and the vertical line of the buildings. For their location and for the inevitable reflection of them in the canal. The capture in grey and white forces us to return to the past and makes us reflect on their functionality.

The black and white effect reinforces the symbolism of a past glory. Undoubtedly a once-necessary structure. Balconies refer to attention to some domesticity. But struck by the supremacy of functionality: were only male architects responsible for their design?

The photograph gives the impression that these grain mills from 1913 have just lost their function. It is quiet on the quay. The last barge has left. The new residents have not yet arrived. The wind makes small ripples in the water, making it seem as if the façade reflected in the water is also moving slightly. Beautifully captured, skilfully made and hard to imagine that this is "historicising photography". A photo to frame and hang in one of the modern lofts that have been realised in these buildings.

Fietsen door de bomen[edit]

7. Hechtel-Eksel, Fietsen door de bomen
Fietsen door de Bomen
User:Paul Hermans

In the sculpture, a combination of curved and vertical lines reflect a grandeur. A meandering of a man-made path with the addition of a creative possibility based on human ingenuity, which impresses by its size, the materials used and the elaboration in height: trunks added to the forest. Complementary turns that balance each other out in harmony with the surrounding nature. The rust-brown pillars form a beautiful contrast with the grey-concrete surface of the path in the foreground and the grove of thin birch trees on the left.

Of all the photos that have been taken and submitted of this construction, this one is the most playful, without detracting from its grandeur.

A picture with a perfect unity between nature and metal that also invites you to use your imagination and to imagine what you can experience when cycling along this path. Everything is simply and clearly captured and calls for you to grab your bike and go take a look.

De Graslei in Gent[edit]

8. Gent, de Graslei vanaf de Korenlei

By the water. Current life and history. Relaxation and protection from tradition. Belonging and recognition, carried by the past.

The photo, taken at full corona time, shows that people need company on a summer afternoon, especially in the city...

The composition is very successful, it invites you to keep looking at the buildings, the people, the sky. A photo that radiates peace and tranquillity, you want to go there immediately.

Gouden-Handrei in Brugge[edit]

9. Brugge, Gouden-Handrei
User:Sally V

From inside to outside. Even there, intimacy prevails through the loveliness of the scene. Beautiful combination of warm colours. It is almost like a painting of Brueghel. The red-coloured leaves on the façade on the left are an added value, especially since that reddish pink colour also returns on the roofs and the house behind it.

Although it is a classic image of a piece of Bruges canals, the photo has enough originality. The richness of colour reinforces the holiday feeling.

A holiday photo that is lifted out and is no longer a holiday photo because of the beautiful see-through points and therefore gives the effect of a multi-panel painting. The beautiful colours make this a very good photo. The only flaw is the white car in the background, otherwise this photo would have been even stronger.

Villa Empain-Piscine in Brussels[edit]

10. Brussels, villa Empain-Piscine
Villa Empain

Beautiful, this picture. Magnificence, architectural beauty and luxury all at the same time. Captured in one image. A materially rich past. Underlined by the presence of the enormous swimming pool, by the side sculptures. Whose past? With what history and what impact? Your impression on seeing this picture: an appreciation or a condemnation?

The photographer has taken care not to try to portray past glories. At most, the photo unconsciously evokes an association with past glory in some people, conditioned as we often are by seeing such monuments. Those who know the building know that it does not look 'decrepit' at all, on the contrary.

The photo shows the rear of Villa Empain. The symmetry of the rear façade is continued in the pergolas on either side of the swimming pool. By placing the camera exactly in the middle of the line of sight, the symmetrical structure that the architect had in mind is inescapable. Beautifully struck and well used, the grey-blue polished granite of the cladding, the water in the swimming pool that lights up in azure and the darker bushes on the sides.


We do have fewer contributions, but the quality is comparable to last year, and the usage grade is systematically raising. In 2018 the European year of heritage attracted more participants.

Year Images Used Percent Participants
2018 4348 1163 27% 141
2019 1056 321 30% 19
2020 840 329 39% 17
2021 2076 447 21% 37
Round Selection technique Images Participants
Contest physical quality 2076 37
1st round yes/no 1323 35
2nd round score 1-5 132 24
3rd round ranking 26 14
Winners best image 10 10


  • Johan Allard
  • Katja De Vos
  • Frans Grijzenhout
  • Dominique Labar
  • Dirk Lindemans
  • Saeid Pourbabak
  • Inge Van der Stighelen
  • Geert Van Pamel
  • Emil Westerbaan

See also[edit]

External links[edit]