Prison XI

Not much too see here but empty halls, but this location has a history. The barracks date back to the late 1800s, with great emphasis placed on the architectural beauty and form of the buildings. The man who designed and oversaw the building works later became chief engineer for the whole city. The barracks were extended in the 1930s, during WW II they were occupied by the German army, and later by the US Army (the 11 cells housed white soldiers in the barracks, and black soldiers in the nearby stables). They were closed in the early 1990s, following a restructuring of the Belgian army when military service was abolished. Plans to use the barracks as a prison were opposed by the local community, who were opposed to such a development as there is a school and nursery nearby. The site was sold in 2005 and is being developed into a large housing development of over 100 flats respecting the architectural heritage of the site. Development of the first and second blocks were completed in 2008 and 2011 respectively. We visited this last stripped block, it’s still stripped due to the slow sales in those blocks.