| 2 min read
Last weekend I found myself in the little Belgian village of Vlassenbroek, part of Baasrode. This region had never particularly caught my attention, but it turned out be more beautiful than I had expected, and the colors of sunset gave the entire setting a magical touch. Here's some pictures of my walk along the Scheldt river.
In medieval times, Vlassenbroek was a small community founded around a watchtower later turned into a church, which overlooked the Scheldt river. The base of that tower, with its 1 meter thick walls, is still visible in the church choir.
A lot of time and effort was put into embanking the whole swamp area (300ha), but it didn’t take long before the dike breached at several places, inundating the swamps once again. Unfortunately for the inhabitants, the breaches took place in front of the town, causing a lot of damage.
The long creeks which were formed as a result of this disaster are still visible now. Even though the dikes were eventually repaired, the town never recovered and led a slumbering existence. The polder area remained fairly untouched by man and became a precious ecological area. In the near future the dikes will be breached again, this time intentionally, to create a unique ecosystem with high tides flooding the whole polder 2 times per day.
With special thanks to historian Bart De Bondt, highly recommended as real life audio guide.
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