The medieval trading city of Hasselt was part of the Hanseatic League. The preserved limekilns are on the edge of the fortified town, on the bank of the Buitengracht canal that followed the walls. The kilns burned seashells to make lime mortar, which was used in building work. Barges brought peat for fuel and dredged up shells from the coast. They unloaded on the wharf in front of the kilns where a barge can sometimes be seen. The Hasselt kilns remained in use later than others in the region and made lime mortar until the early 1990s for conservation of historic buildings. The two conical kilns were restored and opened to the public in 1995. Visitors can see how the kilns were loaded by hand or conveyor lift and how the burnt lime was taken out at the bottom. The building between them was for storing materials and for grading and packing the burnt lime. A display of tools, documents and images explains the history of the site and how the kilns operated.