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Mechelen/Breendonk

We will be in The Netherlands and Belgium in mid June. Between stays in Antwerp and Bruges we wanted to see Mechelen (Kazerne Dossin) and Fort Breendonk all in one day. My current plan is to leave Antwerp at dinner time by train, arrive at Hotel Brouwerij Het Anker (20 minute walk from train station, we have very light luggage) and stay overnight. In the morning make our way to Kazerne Dossin then lunch and by taxi (unless you feel bus would work) to Fort Breendonk with luggage after checking out from hotel. They will stow our luggage at Fort Breendonk. Dinner then bus from Willebroek station to Puurs Station then train to Bruges.

Does this look like a doable plan? It leaves 3 hours or so at each place.

Posted by
4690 posts

Breendonk is very worthwhile, but difficult by public transit so have a cell phone and some taxi numbers. I haven't been to that other site. Mechelen the historic city is also very nice, especially Saturday market day.

Mechelen has a modest "ghost" of its Beguinage, along one jagged old street. I have never been able to find the Jewish History Museum open. There is a mostly paved garden where Charles V played as a baby. Artist Rik Wouters grew up in Mechelen.

The detailed Breendonk audio guides include English. While this was not a "death camp" it is quite a sobering visit. It sounds like you have heard of "The Mechelen Trials", which were not so much of the Germans.

Posted by
27 posts

Thank you for the information. We think it will be worthwhile to see and worth the tricky transportation. An alternate route appears to be walking or taxi from Kamp Breendonk to Willebroek then train to Bruges via Saint-Nicolas. Any opinions on this route? Thank you kindly in advance.

Posted by
4690 posts

When we were there years ago the restaurant adjacent to Ft Breendonk was defunct. Use Google Maps maybe to research. It was near the highway but otherwise remote.

Because we had a car I'm not that useful to you!