Welcome to Scheldeland!
What did the Scheldeland look like during the First World War? Few people understand the role this region to the south of the Scheldt played in this war. Battles were fought, and then a siege followed that lasted for years. Little remains from that time; what was destroyed was carefully rebuilt. Naturally, there are visible traces, like the forts around Antwerp. But less visible are the tales of burning cities, of spies and soldiers, of burned bridges...
This app lets you discover the Great War in the Scheldeland. You will find cycling and walking routes through the loveliest places of this water-rich region. And in the meantime, you can travel back through time. Thanks to 3D-audio and photographs, you can see what happened here a century ago. You can listen to personal stories from the residents of yesteryear at the places where they experienced them.
Be your own navigator on the regional map. Discover hotels, little restaurants, cafés, shops, museums and more. Enjoy the Scheldeland - and learn about the past!
The décor of the war
Aalst, a city with more than 1000 years of history, is mainly known for its annual carnival parade or the “Aalsterse vlaai” (an open-faced pie). A city of people who are proud of the beautiful Grote Markt, with its eye-catching belfry, and of historic heroes like printer Dirk Martens, priest Daens, painter Valerius De Saedeleer and writer Louis Paul Boon.
Bornem is known for its annual Dodentocht (a 100 km march) and its fairy-tale castle Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde, located on the old Scheldt River. Picturesque villages such as Hingene, Weert and Mariekerke are eye-catchers in Scheldeland; each of them has a rich past.
Buggenhout accommodates the Buggenhoutbos, a mixed deciduous forest of more than 200 hectares with numerous, imposing Irish oaks. You can cycle, walk or picnic in the forest or explore the different tree varieties that grow there. The geographic centre of Flanders is located in Opdorp. The numerous food and beverage establishments on the village square make it a cosy place to spend some time. The Scheldt River dyke on the Ouden Briel is the starting point for a walk or a cycling trip.
The Bayard city of Dendermonde lies at the spot where the Dender River flows into the Scheldt River. The city boasts a rich past and is known for its ten-yearly Ros Beiaard Ommegang, the folklore of the ‘Guild Giants’ and the flavour of headcheese. Absolute eye-catchers on the Grote Markt are the former Vleeshuis and the medieval City Hall with belfry, which UNESCO recognised as World Heritage. The sober Sint-Alexius beguinage is also UNESCO World Heritage.
Delicious Lebbeke moves! A village mix of exercise, peace and quiet in nature and delicious food. Explore the nature reserves of the Beneden Dender in Denderbelle or Wieze or discover the field paths and water storage basins. You prefer some heritage? Then the village square in the centre is a good departure point. You would like to try some regional products after all that exercise? Taste a piece of Vondelmolen's gingerbread or allow some Callebaut chocolate to melt on your tongue. You can also relax on the picturesque village square in Wieze.
Puurs is located in the southwest of the province of Antwerp (near the provinces of Flemish Brabant and East Flanders.) The municipality is easy to reach by car or train. It is a restful alternative for those who want to avoid the busy tourist attractions. A wide range of walking and cycling paths, interesting monuments and museums, a steam railway and numerous tourist manifestations make a day in Puurs more than just another daytrip
The salt marshes and polders of Sint-Amands still house wild, pure nature. Rural Sint-Amands is the proud owner of the most beautiful curve in the Scheldt River. You can cycle and walk on the dykes for kilometres and the water surface is a nice place for canoeing, boating and waterskiing. Both banks of the river are linked via the free ferry service between Sint-Amands and Moerzeke.
The Scheldemeersen and Durmemeersen form one of the calmest corners in Zele and are wonderful places to explore on foot or by bike. You prefer to look for heritage in Zele? In the museum you’ll learn all about Zele’s textile history and its needlepoint lace. The dyke in Zele is the place to be for those looking for a culinary treat. .