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Fort van Merksem is the area of a former military fort built in 1871-1882. In 1977, the fortifications became the property of the municipality of Merksem (now a district of Antwerp) and were transformed into a recreation area. Currently, numerous associations have their headquarters here, sports fields and allotments have been created.
The star-shaped fortress was one of the auxiliary buildings forming part of the Antwerp Citadel. The entire system of city fortifications, called the "national redoubt," was to serve as the midwife of Belgium. It was designed by the French general Henri Brialmont (1821-1905).
Fort van Merksem was initially a brick building, which in 1911-1912 was reinforced with reinforced concrete. The building was blown up by the Belgian army on October 9, 1914 - they did not want it not to fall into the hands of the Germans. After World War II, it housed the military fuel depot and the Belgian Navy's barracks.