Hidden Belgium: The old fort at Liefkenshoek

Hidden Belgium: The old fort at Liefkenshoek

Built by the Dutch in 1579, the old fort at Liefkenshoek is now surrounded by huge oil and chemical installations. But once you have crossed the moat, you find yourself inside a perfectly-preserved star-shaped fortification.

A large semi-circular barracks from the Napoleonic period has been turned into a museum with rooms devoted to different periods in Liefkenshoek’s history.

The building was for a time used as a quarantine hospital for emigrants bound for the United States, then a barracks and finally a vacation centre for military families.

The grounds have recently been planted with trees to create a little nature reserve in the menacing industrial landscape. And you can eat well in a dark Flemish tavern located in the former gatehouse.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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