Castle the golden gate Ekeren

'Hof van Merten's or castle 'The golden gate' was built by 'Clement Mertens' in 1884, according to plans by architect Blomme. It is a brick building with a slate roof in neo-Flemish renaissance style.

Picture by Harry Fabel
The building was bought by the municipality of Ekeren in 1920 and served as a town hall from 1920 to 1930. In the portal of the eclectic mansion you can find one of the four local war monuments remembering the First World War.

Picture by Harry Fabel
Later the castle became a peace court that was functional until 1970. In 1972 the building was used as a local police station. At the moment the castle is abandon and for sale. The UNESCO protected building is waiting for a new owner and destination.

You can find the castle at this address: Veltwijcklaan 1, Ekeren, Antwerp.

The memorial monument for the fallen in Ekeren

The memorial sculpture for the fallen of the First World War in Ekeren, a town in the north of Antwerp was founded in 1930 on the initiative of the municipal authorities, they chose the sculptor Baggen for the design.

Picture by Harry Fabel

Alfons Lambert (Albert) Baggen (1862-1937) was a Dutch sculptor living in Antwerp. The monument in Ekeren is representative of his oeuvre, which for a large part consists of war memorials. It is also representative of the last period of his career in which he evolved into a simplified and less classical style, inspired by art deco. The copper sculpture group was made by the Brussels foundry 'Lesetre et Cie', which realized oher memorials during the interbellum period. The copper lanterns may also have been realized by this firm.

You can find the monument at this address:  Veltwijcklaan, Ekeren, Antwerp.

The Schoonselhof Castle in Antwerp

The Schoonselhof castle is named after Jan van Wilrike, a 14th century officer of 'Sconcele'. Originally the castle was a 'house of plaisance', an outdoor residence of wealthy merchants in the 16th century. In its existence the castle had a lot of modifications. In 1911, the city of Antwerp brought the castle and its domain to use it as a park cemetery outside of the city center. In 1914 the first body was buried at the Schoonselhof cemetery, he was a German soldier who died during the first World War. Later other graves from cemeteries in the neighborhood were moved to the schoonselhof cemetery.

Picture by Pixabay
Today the castle is a bit in decay and the used by the gardeners of the cemetery to store their goods. However there are some plans to restore the castle to its former glory and make it a public place again. The cemetery and the gardens surrounding it are open the the public.

You can find the castle at this address: Schoonselhof, Antwerp.