The historical pump house of dry dock 7

The building of the pumphouse started in 1918 and was completed in 1920. The 3 giant cast-iron installations of the building were the largest in Europe at that time, they were able to empty the adjacent dry dock n ° 7 so that a ship in it could be maintained, loaded and discharged again after the dock was refilled with water.

Picture by Pixabay

The shipping company "Red Star Line" used it. One of their ships "Belgenland", which operated a service between Antwerp and New York, was frequently maintained in the dock. The atmosphere of that ship and the luxury of the Art Nouveau era can also be found inside the building.

The centrifugal pumps performed to empty the dry dock in a time of 2 hours. Since 1982 Het Pomphuis has been taken out of service. The dry dock has meanwhile disappeared to enable a widening of the Albert Canal. In 1996 they even wanted to demolish the building, but preservation of monuments stopped this and considered it a historical site and building.

The architectural style is eclectic with Jugendstil, Art Nouveau features. Inside there is one large room with an impressive 7 meters deep pit. The stairs against the inner walls of the hall lead to metal galleries with ornate iron parapets on two levels. Also very impressive are the beautiful high round windows with the still original metal rod distribution.

In order not to leave this monument to the test of time, the port authority granted permission to find a new destination for it. After several proposals, it was eventually decided to convert it into an impressive restaurant and bar, the restorations of the building where completed on May, 25, 2002. After a spectacular opening it became clear that Antwerp had a new gem in its diamond city.

You can find the Pumphouse at this address: Siberiastraat, Antwerp.

The famous student landlady of Leuven

The "Kotmadam", the Flemish name for a landlady who let student rooms, is a statue on the old market square of the city Leuven.

The statue is made by "Luc De Blick" and was inaugurated on May, 16, 1985. It was a gift from the VVV, the Tourist Office organisation of Flanders to the city. The inauguration more than twenty years ago was attended by "Maria Swerts", the then oldest student landlady of Leuven and also the godmother of the statue.

Picture by Harry Fabel

Despite the amusing nature of the landlady sitting on a bench and holding a coffee pot, the statue initially evoked mixed feelings among the students. One of the things was that the figure depicted did not correspond to the typical image of the landlady they had, old and obese. On the contrary, the "kotmadam" on the "Oude Markt" square is a youthful and attractive lady.

However, over the years the statue became an eye catcher and many people have already taken a seat next to her for the perfect selfie of family portrait with this famous figure from the world praised student city Leuven.

Picture by Harry Fabel

You can find the statue on this address: Oude Markt, Leuven.

The mill on the hill in Tessenderlo

Already in 1301 a mill was mentioned on this location in the town of Tessenderlo. In 1336 Count Louis IV van Loon donated the mill to the Abbot of Averbode, who sold it again after only a few years. Over the passing years, the mill fell into disrepair and was a first time restored in 1590. In 1606 the mill was destroyed by a heavy storm, to be restored a second time in 1608.

Picture by Harry Fabel
The standard, the small foot where the mill was built on was renewed in 1728, and the stake iron and spindle followed in 1751. It took an till 1934 to build a completely closed structure under the mill. This was done by Emiel Luyten, after whom the mill was called after the modernization “The Luyten Mill”. He also installed an oat crush and applied streamlined blades which were later again removed.

Picture by Harry Fabel

Emiel's son Georges sold the mill in 1981 to the municipality of Tessenderlo. The foundation “Molenvrienden” or "Friends Of The Mill" was founded and the mill was completely restored to be inaugurated in 1991. Since then, the mill has been operating regularly. Near the mill is a natural garden and a small chapel. Also the nearby house is the millers is now part of the foundation and is used as a cultural meeting center.

Picture by Harry Fabel

You can find the mill at this address: Molenstraat 6-16, Tessenderlo, Belgium.