Bokrijk is a provincial domain in Limburg, Belgium, situated near the city of Genk. Belgium is divided into three regions two of them are subdivided into five Provinces each The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those Genk is a City and municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. It is mainly known for its open air museum. An open air museum is a distinct type of Museum exhibiting its collections out-of-doors The domain is 5. 5 square kilometres in area and hosts an important botanical garden (arboretum) and Flanders' largest open air playground.
Early sources until the French Revolution
On March the 9th 1252 Count Arnold IV of Loon and Chiny (county of Loon) sold a forest, situated between Genk, Zonhoven and Hasselt, to the abbey of Herkenrode. The County of Loon (Graafschap Loon, Comté de Looz) was a state of the Holy Roman Empire, lying in present-day Belgium. Genk is a City and municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. Zonhoven is a Municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. ||-||-||} Hasselt is a Belgian City and municipality, and capital of the Flemish province of Limburg. This forest was called 'Buscurake' or Buksenrake ('buk' = beech, 'rake' = a part of land). The name later evolved into 'Bouchreyck' and eventually to Bokrijk. The Cistercian abbey of Herkenrode (in Kuringen near Hasselt) built a grangiae (abbey farm), dug out fish ponds and started forestry practices. The abbey farm was cultivated by lay brothers and from 1447 onwards functioned as an ordinary tenant farm. It remained the abbey's property until the years of the French Revolutionary Wars. The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts from 1792 until 1802 fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states In 1797 French Revolutionaries seized all properties of the Cistercian abbey and the same year sold it to a private investor from Maastricht. Maastricht ( Dutch; Limburgish and city dialect Mestreech; French: Maestricht or Maëstricht; Spanish:
Combining culture and nature
On the 21st of March 1938 the province of Limburg acquired Bokrijk. Governor of Limburg Hubert Verwilghen inspired the acquisition. Verwilghen strived for the creation of a public domaine that would combine culture and nature. His vision would be realized years later under the dynamic impuls of provincial governor Louis Roppe. On October 6 1953 Provincial Council of the Province of Limburg decided to create an open air museum in Bokrijk. An open air museum is a distinct type of Museum exhibiting its collections out-of-doors With the post-war industrial revolution and the increasing development projects of the Fifties, Flanders' living environment was drastically changing. Agricultural buildings of important cultural and historical value for Flanders were disappearing from the landscape. Dr. Jozef Weyns was appointed to coördinate the project and remained in function as first conservator of the Open Air Museum of Bokrijk. The museum opened to the public on the 12th of April 1958 as contribution of the province of Limburg to the Expo '58 (Brussels World’s Fair). Expo 58, also known as the Brussels World’s Fair, Brusselse Wereldtentoonstelling or Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles, was held from