Because once an air balloon landed there
In the north of Antwerp there is a district with the name "Luchtbal" Flemisch for "Air Balloon". How is it possible that a whole area is called after an air balloon? It's a simple story and it all started with a balloon landing and of course the talk at a local café.
|Similar picture of an air balloon landing (place unidentified)|
At the end of the 19th century a military air balloon landed on a the field in the north of the Antwerp city centre. The fields were mostly agricultural lands with only a few houses and a café. At that time the area was called "Vossenschijn" after a small river passing through the land's.
When the air balloon landed it was the talk of the local cafe, nobody had ever seen a thing like that. After a while the people started talking about going to the place where the air balloon landed when they wanted to go to the café after a hard day's work. So the owner of the cafe decided to changed the name of his established into "De Luchtbal" Flemish for "The Air Balloon".
Later, when the first bus stop came to the aria, the stop was also called "De Luchtbal" after the café and not after the balloon landing. And this is how the district got its name. After the first World War the district got an enormous building boost and was divided into two big areas.
|The low part of "De Luchtbal"|
The low "Luchtbal" and the high "Luchtbal" In the low area most of the houses where cottage like with a small garden, in the high area the first apartment buildings were build. The original café was demolished and later a new café was build a few hundred meters further under one of the apartment blocks. Today that café is still there.
|The high part of "De Luchtbal"|