“Imagine changing one of the world’s most endangered monuments into one of the world’s most valuable heritage sites within the space of a generation,” says Kempens Landschap managing director Philippe De Backer. For almost 20 years, Philippe and his colleagues have been working to preserve the Wortel and Merksplas Colonies of Benevolence, in the northern part of the Belgian Kempen area. Now it is time to reap the rewards and invite the public to come and visit these unique sites of cultural heritage. “It’s always a strange sensation to be strolling around here,” Philippe smiles.