Fort Brasschaat

Fort Brasschaat lies north of the town of the same name, in the province of Antwerp in the Flemish region in Belgium.

Between 1859 and 1864 the young Belgian Kingdom had equipped the city of Antwerp, which had been chosen to be a National Redoubt in case of war, with a ring of 8 brick forts; Fort 1 until Fort 8. As the forts quickly became outdated, several new forts were added to the ring, between 1870 and 1895, but at a greater distance from the city; amongst them were Fort Steendorp and Fort Walem.

Advances in the development of artillery kept outdating the 19th century forts however. So, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Belgian government decided to surround Antwerp with yet a second ring of forts at an even greater distance from the city. Building commenced and in 1913, 11 armored forts and 12 armored redoubts, built out of concrete, had been built around the city. They then started arming these new forts, a job which was not yet finished when Belgium was invaded by the Germans in 1914.

Fort Brasschaat was built between 1909 and 1912. It is triangular-shaped and surrounded by a moat. When the Germans invaded Belgium in 1914 the fort was manned by around 330 soldiers. The German Army besieged Antwerp from the south and took several forts there after which the city capitulated. As Fort Brasschaat was situated at the north of Antwerp it didn't see any action. Between the 2 World Wars the fort was adapted to the use of machine guns and gas attacks. But again it didn't see any action in World War II.

In 1970 the Belgian Army tried to demolish the fort using dynamite. And although they managed to destroy the left wing of the fort the task was deemed to difficult and the fort was abandoned.

At present Fort Brasschaat is inaccessible. It serves as a bat habitat and still owned by the Belgian Army. Too bad; I would love to visit its interior. The fort island is too heavily wooded to see much but you can walk around it.


Gallery

Fort Brasschaat

Fort Brasschaat lies north of the town of the same name, in the province of Antwerp in the Flemish region in Belgium.

Between 1859 and 1864 the young Belgian Kingdom had equipped the city of Antwerp, which had been chosen to be a National Redoubt in case of war, with a ring of 8 brick forts; Fort 1 until Fort 8. As the forts quickly became outdated, several new forts were added to the ring, between 1870 and 1895, but at a greater distance from the city; amongst them were Fort Steendorp and Fort Walem.

Advances in the development of artillery kept outdating the 19th century forts however. So, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Belgian government decided to surround Antwerp with yet a second ring of forts at an even greater distance from the city. Building commenced and in 1913, 11 armored forts and 12 armored redoubts, built out of concrete, had been built around the city. They then started arming these new forts, a job which was not yet finished when Belgium was invaded by the Germans in 1914.

Fort Brasschaat was built between 1909 and 1912. It is triangular-shaped and surrounded by a moat. When the Germans invaded Belgium in 1914 the fort was manned by around 330 soldiers. The German Army besieged Antwerp from the south and took several forts there after which the city capitulated. As Fort Brasschaat was situated at the north of Antwerp it didn't see any action. Between the 2 World Wars the fort was adapted to the use of machine guns and gas attacks. But again it didn't see any action in World War II.

In 1970 the Belgian Army tried to demolish the fort using dynamite. And although they managed to destroy the left wing of the fort the task was deemed to difficult and the fort was abandoned.

At present Fort Brasschaat is inaccessible. It serves as a bat habitat and still owned by the Belgian Army. Too bad; I would love to visit its interior. The fort island is too heavily wooded to see much but you can walk around it.


Gallery