"Mortsel, my hometown" Mortsel by irisbe

Mortsel Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 196 photos

Because we have very good accomodations: cultural, sport, social ... and because we are the most densed populated community of the whole Antwerp region (average ppl living/square km)...

What I am doing

That doesn't leave us much open green spaces anymore: the grasland next to the landing track of the Airport of Deurne (Antwerp), the sides of the railroad tracks and the dismissed Fortress IV,
previous a part of a chain of Fortresses, built for protection around Antwerp.

A small tour around Fort IV.

You can imagine that we "fight" for each inch of green open space to be kept and that is what I have been doing since end 1990 concerning a local farm with a little bit of grassland around it.

A small logbook about our little "war zone" at Mortsel.

Facing the ignorance of the previous local politicians and the openly mingling of some's private interests and political power, I accepted to participate in the last local elections as independent member. Well, we made a primeur in the whole Flanders and in Mortsel that day! We provided the first female mayor (top of our list) in Mortsel, second ecological mayor in Flanders (but first female ecological mayor). But we have to fight an "old-alligator political system".
Our priorities now are more tended to social and ecological topics (how to deal and get rid of deadly and too densed traffic, how to keep open green spaces, the continuation of education projects of the Roma gypsy children at the camp in Mortsel (at this very moment the federal government is cutting off our subsidies because they adviced the kids were not attending the courses on a real regular bases... as if in this case is not demanded a whole different approach and judgment of "regular pupils", while on the other hand they use us in the media as being a model example. What a contrasts).

In one sentence: how to keep this a place where you like to live and wander around?

General info:

Mortsel is the place where Lieven Gevaert started his factory (Agfa-Gevaert), specialized
in films for photography, later shifting more to the medical applications of film.

What I would like to do:

Mortsel is the place that had the priveledge of being among the first victims of "clean war and precising bombing" and thus have lost almost 1000 people,
most children (they dropped the bombs on schools!), and a multitude more being injured, in a few moments time on 5th of April 1943 on a sunny afternoon. But
that part of history is muted and erased because it is after all the victor who writes history. Be honest, it is not such an easy thing to admitt you bombed your compatriots in war and missed the targets, killing innocent civilians especially when they are kids. I hope I can write more about this topic in one of my travelogues because this still lives in the generation of our parents and grandparents who
knew many people who died that day and who have witnessed as kids the disrupted bodies in the trees or carried away. Two books about this dark page in Mortsel's history has been written but in Dutch. There are a lot of b/w pictures in of kids and people who didn't survived the attack. As we experienced from recent events, to be able to put a face on a victim has a bigger impact then if you are just referring to a number of what is called "casualties of war". Forgive
me not feeling comfortable when confronted on the news broadcasting with this clean talk terminology to make the unacceptable acceptable. The VRT (Flemish National Television has made a documentary on occasion of the 50th "anniversary").
While the pilots of the escadron that participated, were celebrated in Tennessee last year (2000), we are still denied the iron cross, given to cities who are recognized to have suffered during war. In our case it doesn't really matter anymore who's fault it was, or if the mission should have been canceled or not...
it is just a matter of recognition, but even that is denied up to now.

A special visitor in Mortsel, January 2003

In January we invited a special visitor: Seckou Kandé, mayor of Bantancountou (Senegal) and Alassane Cisse, journalist in Dakar (Senegal).

This visit is related to my Senegal page.

  • Last visit to Mortsel: Jan 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (34)

Comments (44)

  • RoyJava's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    You do live in a very lovely place, enjoyed to read about it, included some great pics, keep in touch, until next Dann, greets RoyJava

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    a very unusual and quite moving page. thanks.

  • raytor's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2007 at 10:05 AM

    Tell you something new? I figure you have seen everything. What new can there be?

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2007 at 9:32 PM

    Very interesting page. Thanks for sharing. Hoping to visit next year will def contact you then ;-)

  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2007 at 5:09 AM

    Interesting place, so much history and sadness... It's great that you're fighting for the farm. Construction companies here are also the same, occupying the little green spaces left...

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2006 at 3:15 AM

    Wow, wars and dead cyclists. Since my grandfather died there during WWI and I ride pushbikes it was all a little melancholy.

  • alexprofi's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2006 at 2:30 AM

    Well... it is very a pity that at night the restaurant on Drabstraat 262 is closed, I in Belgium am only at night... I Hope there will be time when I can visit him...

  • husain's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2006 at 11:46 AM

    looks perfect in that corner- now i`m glad i chose that one:) also- thats a nice name for the cat... and theres some funny looking dogs there!

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2006 at 11:32 AM

    New hotel acco ? Hi Danielle - what is the price, are there special services included - is BF included - is there a shopping place.And like usual - credit cards are accepted - No??

  • Goldenboy's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2006 at 2:30 PM

    Happy belated birthday dear Dannie!!! (Servers down :( ) Millions of smiles and happiness be unto you. Happy travel and all my best wishes!


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