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Stairway to Heaven? More like Stairway to Nothingness! Climb up the 55 stairs of this 13-ton floating structure and enjoy the view on the Hageland’s highest hill.

Are you familiar with the principle of “form follows function” in architecture? According to this principle, the shape of a building should relate to its intended purpose. And given that the main purpose of the Vlooybergtoren is letting its visitors enjoy the view of Tielt-Winge, what best shape for it if not an actual staircase?

Floating above the Kabouterbos (the “fairy tale forest”), this 11-meter structure is made of stainless steel and extends over 20 meters.

  • A long and difficult road: before the Vlooybergtoren was built, another (smaller) lookout tower adorned the Vlooyberg hill. But when vandals destroyed it by setting it on fire, it became clear that only a stronger, vandal-proof structure would stay in place for many years. The current Vlooyberg tower was built in 2013, but in 2018 vandals struck again, damaging the steel cladding. The renovated Vlooyberg Tower was then inaugurated in December 2018: now it’s even 1,5 metres taller.
  • Engineer Yves Willems, who designed the tower, says he was inspired by the French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who in 1939 wrote that “perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”.
  • What can you see when you climb all the way to the top of the Vlooybergtoren? You’ll enjoy a great view of the Hageland, and on a clear day you’ll even see Electrabel's cooling towers in Vilvoorde (to the west) and the shafts of the Limburg coal mines (to the east).
  • Award-winning staircase: The Vlooyberg Tower won first prize in the 2014 Steel Construction Competition, in the category “specific elements''. The jury deemed the project “full of suspense, full of fantasy, full of absurdity”, stating that “it has a function, but maybe it doesn't”.
  • As seen on TV: the Vlooyberg Tower gained huge popularity thanks to the Belgian TV show “Callboys”, which shot a few scenes here in 2016 and 2019.
Updated on 22 February 2021

Tips and Tricks

  • Why not have a picnic in nature? There’s a few benches right underneath the tower, so bring a packed lunch!
  • Don’t worry, the tower is safe for children: the sill at the top is high enough so that they won’t fall over the rim.
  • Coming by bike? Remember that the tower is located along a gravel path.
  • If you want to truly soak in nature, here’s a hike trail that will allow you to also explore the surroundings!

Getting There

  • By Bike: the tower is located at Junction 27 of the Belgian cycle junction network
  • By Car: parking available at Oudepastoriestraat. Then head towards hiking node no. 204.
  • By Bus: about 1,5 km from Tielt-Winge bus station.
  • By Train: take a train to Leuven. From there hop on bus 370 to Tielt-Winge Keulenstraat, or rent a bike and bike to the tower (about 16 km).
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