The Dutch heritage organisation Heemschut has nominated the Belgian village of Doel for Europa Nostra’s 7 Most Endangered Programme. Doel is located near the Port of Antwerp and the border of the Netherlands. Since 1965, there have been plans to enlarge the Port of Antwerp and to demolish Doel.
According to Director Karel Loeff, there are two reasons why the Dutch heritage organisation has nominated the Belgian ghost town: “The first reason is the historical location of the polder village between Flanders and the Netherlands. Although Doel doesn’t belong to our area, there are many Dutch influences recognisable in the polder construction. A second reason is that there are no similar heritage organisations that support heritage volunteers in Flanders. In Doel, we found enthusiastic people and we want to support them to prevent Doel from disappearing.”
Europa Nostra’s 7 Most Endangered Programme identifies endangered sites and mobilises public and private partners to find a viable future for those sites. In December, Europa Nostra will publish a shortlist of the sites nominated for the 7 Most Endangered Programme 2022.