A long past with untold human stories.
I dug into the history of my hometown Antwerp.
To discover the history of the fortified Positions around the city.
A 95 km long belt to protect the city over enemy attacks.
Through centuries Antwerp has a history of defense walls, but during the reign of Leopold II they started to built The National Reduit (Act of September 8, 1859) and would consist of: 1° a siege wall, 2° a circle of fortresses and 3° inundations.
At the beginning of WWI, On August 15, 1914, Fort Loncin, near Liege, was destroyed by a German hit in the ammunition depot. 350 men were killed immediately, and half of the fort was destroyed
The range, of the “Dikke Bertha” a Houwitser 42 cm caliber gun, was bigger than the Belgian artillery and the Belgian army could not defend Antwerp soon to abandon the area.
Before WWII started, the defenceline was strengthened by an anti-tank ditch for over 33 km.
The anti-tank ditch runs in a circle around Antwerp at a distance of 15 km from the city centre,
15 locks to regulate the water level and were defended by bunkers.
With each of these images I try to unravel these mysteries that lay beneath these grounds.
Most parts of the area have become a nature preserve.