Lillo the mini-village by the Scheldt

Lillo was a village on the Scheldt situated north of the city Antwerp. It's gone by the expansion of the port of Antwerp. What remains now is the small center inside the Fort of Lillo.The Fort of Lillo was part of the Scheldt Defense and is located on the right bank of the Scheldt. The small village inside it is now part of the Antwerp district Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo and has only forty residents.


One of the inhabitants, Maria Theresia Eyer-Gorsen, nicknamed "Moederke Eyer", was married to a customs officer, Adrian Eyer, and had seven children. She became a familiar figure in her village because of her old age. In 1919, when she was one hundred years old, King Albert I of Belgium came to visit her. When she was 105 years old, in 1924,

Prince Leopold, later King Leopold III visited her and gave her the order of Leopold II, the order is awarded for meritorious service to the Sovereign of Belgium and as a token of his personal goodwill. She died eight months later. At the time, she was the oldest resident who was buried in the cemetery of Lillo. When that cemetery closed in 1960, her body and grave were moved to the "shoonselhof" cemetery in the south of Antwerp. She is immortalized in a statue in front of the church of Lillo which was made by sculptor Rik Sauter.


Due to its unique location near the Scheldt river and its exquisite decor, Lillo remains attractive for thousands of tourists every year. The miniature village therefore has a lot to offer, going from sunny terraces in the summer to cultural activities throughout the year.



Lillo also has its little harbour and lies next to a small nature reserve called the "Galgeschoor".  But still, the green village is squeezed between the Scheldt and petrochemical multinationals.


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