petition anglais

Petition to protect and restore The Provincial Horticultural School of La Hulpe and its gardens

The Provincial Horticultural School of La Hulpe was founded in 1912 and played a very important role in the development of wine-growing in the Walloon Brabant. Since the decrease of wine-growing, the school has diversified its teaching activities, although keeping them in the framework of its traditional activity.

Currently, the school buildings, the school greenhouses and gardens are threatened not only by a lack of financing for maintenance work, restoration and adaptation of the premises, but could also be threatened by real estate projects. It should be noted that the school buildings and premises constitute a harmonious ensemble, which is part of the historical, architectural, artistic and environmental heritage of Walloon Brabant.

The main features of the school's heritage are the following:

1. Buildings and site of great architectural value
1. The School's main building
2. The small farmhouse
3. The doorway with its inscription dating from 1769
4. The old greenhouses

2. Sculptures and paintings on the school premises
1. Stone slab representing Camille Lemonnier, by Dolf LEDEL 2. Sculpture made of Carrara marble representing Galileo Galilei, by Jeff LAMBEAUX
3. Sculpture of "Bacchus spitting", by François STEENEBRUGGEN, a sculptor from La Hulpe
4. Nude of a young girl, bronze sculpture by F. de BREMAECK
5. Two 2,2m x 1,7m paintings representing the school gardens, by E. de COSTER

3. Remarkable trees and fruit trees in the school gardens
1. An American Tulip Tree and a Sequoia
2. A giant Sequoia
6. Selected trellised fruit trees

4. History of the school, its role in the history of wine-growing; the Solvay donation
Although on a smaller scale than in Hoeilaart and Overijse, viticulture in greenhouses also had its heyday in La Hulpe.

The development of this type of viticulture started in 1865 in Hoeilaart, in 1878 in Overijse and in 1883 in La Hulpe, where there were up to 1600 greenhouses.

The Horticultural School of La Hulpe was created to answer the need for specialised training in the cultivation of fruit trees and vines in the region.

The School was first set up on a site belonging to Mr. Friedrich.

The Commune then bought the property in 1912, thanks to a donation from Mr. Ernest Solvay and the School opened its doors in 1913. In 1920, the Commune sold the building and its greenhouses to the Provincial Administration and the School was officially inaugurated in 1921. The Provincial Administration bought another 1200sqm (in the vicinity of rue de la Mazerine) bringing the total area to 5700sqm.

b>Mr. Solvay and Mr. They, again in 1921, bought and donated to the School several other plots of land, bringing it to a total of 9200sqm.

In 1950, the Provincial Deputation of the Walloon Brabant decided to enlarge the building and to buy some neighboring properties, considering the expansion of the School premises to be of public interest. The total surface of the site was thereby extended to 17 100sqm.

5. The School's main building
The School's main building is on the Inventory of Cultural Heritage Buildings (Inventaire du Patrimoine Immobilier Culturel)

With this petition we ask for :
1. The preservation, restoration and classification as heritage of the School's main building, its greenhouses (notably the earlier ones) and its gardens ;

2. Any real-estate projects to be cancelled ;

3. The School's teaching vocation to be revived, notably by the creation of a 7th school year with several specializations, including accounting and management, as well as natural and sustainable horticultural techniques. This would bring the teaching curriculum into line with the present legislation ;

4. The school archives - which are partly in the hands of the Province and partly stocked in total disorder in the School's gymnasium to be preserved and enhanced. These assets should be kept either in adequate storage premises or in a much needed Museum, retracing the history of the School as well as the story of wine-growing in the region ;

5. New courses to be created for the benefit of local residents, e.g. organic gardening courses, collective kitchen gardens, adoption of a vine stock, courses on the pruning of fruit trees, courses on cider production ;

6. the statues are to be preserved ;

7. monthly markets with the products of the school.


We thank you for supporting our efforts to save this outstanding architectural, environmental, artistic, scientific and professional heritage.

We believe in preserving a school of vocational and technical education in horticultural techniques in La Hulpe, with a curriculum adapted to the present needs as well as to the best standards and technologies in the field.

Please sign this petition!