Historic ship recalls the revival of the ghost village of Doel: “This is the transformation” | Bergen op Zoom

Historic ship recalls the revival of the ghost village of Doel: "This is the transformation" |  Bergen op Zoom

DOEL – The arrival of the historic ship Ortelius at Flemish Doel marks the revival of this largely abandoned and impoverished village on the Scheldt.




This is the turning point for Doyle. “No one has any doubts about a new future for the village,” says Jan Crieff of the Doel2020 working group, which has been fighting for more than twenty years to preserve the village that would initially be sacrificed in order to expand Antwerp’s docks. At the end of 2019, the Flemish government promised that Doyle would survive.

The restoration of Ortelius in Central Doel is an important criterion. Ortelius is a historic ship that served as a school ship for primary school children in Antwerp; It is considered a heritage piece for sailing.

The ship was taken to the village of Scheldt with a special transport, where it was disembarked on Saturday morning with two giant cranes. It will be renovated in the coming years by the non-profit organization “De Maakschappij” in Doel. “Project Ortelius proves that so much is possible in our historic village. We hope this is truly the beginning of the transformation,” said the Doel2020 working group.


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Ortelius’ arrival proves that much is possible in Doel. Hopefully this is already starting to turn

target working group 2020

interest from the netherlands

There is also great interest from the Netherlands in the village near the nuclear power plant of the same name. Heemschut, the largest heritage association in the Netherlands, recently nominated Doel as Europe’s most endangered heritage.

It was presented as7 Most Endangered Programsby Europa Nostra. Remarkably, a Dutch member of Europa Nostra is nominated for a place in Flanders. The Europa Nostra program identifies endangered landmarks and sites in Europe and mobilizes public and private partners to create a viable future for these sites. Founded since 1911, Bond Heemschut has over five thousand members and is committed to protecting things and areas of value.

The largely deserted village of Doel on the Scheldt River has a great attraction for tourists. © Peter van Trijen / pix4profs

Doel, the largely abandoned village of Scheldt near Antwerp.
Doel, the largely abandoned village of Scheldt near Antwerp. © Peter van Trijen / pix4profs

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