Grand Orient of Belgium

The Grand Orient of Belgium (French: Grand Orient de Belgique, Dutch: Grootoosten van Belgie; or G.O.B.) is a Belgian cupola of masonic lodges which is only accessible for men, and works in the basic three symbolic degrees of freemasonry.

Seal of the Grand Orient of Belgium


The Grand Orient of Belgium was founded in 1833, three years after the independence of Belgium. The Grand Orient joins the Grand Orient of France and other Continental jurisdictions in not requiring initiates to believe in a Supreme Being (Great Architect of the Universe). This meant that in the 1870s the Orient broke with the United Grand Lodge of England.

In 1921, the Grand Orient of Belgium was a founding and influential member within the International Masonic Association. It remained a member of this international alliance until 1950. During World War II, members of the Grand Orient of Belgium founded the Lodge Liberté chérie in a Nazi concentration camp and the Lodge l'Obstinée in a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp.

In 1959 five lodges of the Grand Orient of Belgium founded the Grand Lodge of Belgium in order to regain recognition by the United Grand Lodge of England which was lost in 1979. The Grand Orient of Belgium became a founding member of the Centre de Liaison et d'Information des Puissances maçonniques Signataires de l'Appel de Strasbourg (CLIPSAS) in 1961, but left in 1996 with the Grand Orient of France over disputes about the place of religious belief. In 1989 the Grand Orient of Belgium, the Grand Lodge of Belgium, the Women's Grand Lodge Of Belgium and the Belgian Federation of Le Droit Humain signed an agreement of mutual recognition. In 1998, these anti-clerical and atheistic Grand Orients founded the International Secretariat of the Masonic Adogmatic Powers (SIMPA), but by 2008, the Belgium Grand Orient had rejoined CLIPSAS.

Grand MastersEdit

Notable membersEdit

Interior of the Les Amis Philanthropes temple in Brussels

Relationship with the Roman Catholic ChurchEdit

The GOB has often had a difficult relationship with the Roman Catholic Church (see Catholicism and Freemasonry). The Grand Orient was seen as the main source of anticlericalism during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

See alsoEdit


  • Hugo De Schampeleire, Els Witte, Fernand V. Borne, Bibliografische bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der Belgische vrijmetselarij, 1798-1855, Brussel 1973
  • Andries Van den Abeele, De Kinderen Van Hiram, Brussel, Roularta, 1991
  • Hervé Hasquin (ed.), Visages de la franc-maçonner ie belge du XVIIIe au XXe siècle, Ed. ULB, Bruxelles, 1983
  • Michel Huysseune, Vrijmetselarij, mythe en realiteit, EPO pub., 1988
  • Jo Gérard [fr], La franc-maçonnerie en Belgique, Bruxelles 1988

External linksEdit