Skip to main content

Lost villages of Antwerp

Wilmarsdonk is a lost village north of the city of Antwerp. In the sixties, it was demolished to make way for the expansion of the port of Antwerp. In 1966, the last remnants of the village were cleared. Only the Gothic tower of the Church of St. Lawrence is still standing there today, right in the middle of the stored containers of the Antwerp harbor. Another saved monument from the village is the pillory of Wilmarsdonk, which was moved to a village nearby, Berendrecht. More about the pillory here.


Also, a small chapel from Wilmarsdonk was saved and moved to another location. She first got a new place in the port itself at quay 126, but not much later she was demolished and rebuilt stone by stone to yet another location. Since 1986, the little seamen prayer house is at the intersection of Elzasweg the Loodglansstraat at quay 60 in the port of Antwerp.

Pictures by Harry Fabel

Oosterweel is another vanished Belgian village north of the city of Antwerp. At the site of the former village, there are now the Antwerp oil docks. Before the demolishing Oosterweel was the lowest village in Belgium. In 1900, at its peak, there were 1075 people living there. The old church of Oosterweel, the St. John the Baptist Church, and a bridge is kept solely as a monument and are like the church of Wilmarsdonk right in the busy Antwerp harbor. The church was classified as a protected monument in 1994. More about the church of Oosterweel here.


The churches of both villages were not only kept as a monument but were also used by land surveyors as a guideline to determine the position of the newly build docks. Later the construction workers just left them there. Another two lost villages in Antwerp harbor are Lillo and Oorderen. In Lillo, only the old fort with a few houses, a small harbor, and a mill are still remaining. You can read more about the village here.

The village of Oorderen is completely gone, the only thing left is a barn that has been moved to the Bokrijk open-air museum for folklore about  100 kilometers away from its original build place. Also, the mill of Lillo has been moved a few kilometers away from its original place. You can read more about the mill here.

Popular posts from this blog

Belgian kids got to drink beer during their school lunch

There are almost 800 different kinds of beer in Belgium. One kind was very popular till the70's, it was even given to kids at school during their lunch break. Beer to kids? You must be kidding! Well, let's go a bit further into this. The beers we are talking about were so-called table beers, a kind of beer that was specially made for people who can't drink alcohol. So it's was a kind of alcohol-free beer, a kind, because there was some alcohol in it. between 1 and 4 percent alcohol. The most popular table beer was Piedboeuf, it had 1.1 percent alcohol in it and there was a lot of sugar added to make it as sweet as Coca-Cola. A good marketing strategy made that it was well distributed in almost all schools in Belgium. The reason was that it would be very healthy for them, because of the natural ingredients and of course the sugar. It would make them grow fast and strong. It would even be good for pregnant women and for women that were breastfeeding their baby'

How the Belgians founded New York

In order to avoid any confusion in this story, it is important to know that in the sixteenth century, the Netherlands covered a part of northern France and Lorraine, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the present Netherlands. Its inhabitants were called the Belgians, and the maps represented the country in the shape of a lion: the "Leo Belgicus". Besides, numerous maps from the sixteenth century showed this territory under the name of Belgium. The latter failed into disuse for the benefit of the Netherlands and only reappeared in 1789 on the occasion of the first Belgian revolution. In 1831 Belgium became an independent country. Today Belgium is a lot smaller and is divided into two big regions mostly based on the language they speak in that particular region. In the north, there is Flanders where they speak Flemish (Dutch) and in the south, there is the Walloon part where they speak French. Almost in the center and between the two parts is the region of the capital Brussels.

A secret medieval street in Antwerp

The Vlaeykensgang is a unique small street in the center of Antwerp. Hidden between two busy Antwerp streets and close to the Cathedral. This medieval times street can easily be walked past unnoticed. Behind its meter-wide entrance, there is an oasis. A step into the passage with its quiet courtyards transports visitors back in time, back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Picture by Harry Fabel Previously, the street was the domain of shoemakers, who had to sound the alarm bell of the Cathedral, also some of the poorest people of the city lived in that very small street. Now you will find antique shops, art galleries, and an exclusive restaurant, Sir Anthony Van Dyck. There is a subdued atmosphere and the street is a popular place to listen to the cathedral's summer carillon concerts. At its heart, you find the Axel Vervoordt Gallery. Picture by Harry Fabel The "Vlaeykensgang" exists as a key piece of Antwerp’s architectural and sociological history, offering a