We visited the location in February 2007. In this fortress gas masks are lying around everywhere. The fortress suffers heavily under vandalism, lots of damage by fires. The fortress is a burial site, since more than 70 men are buries below the rubble of the collapsed vaults.
The fortress is part of a ring of fortresses around Antwerpen. It was build from 1878 until 1893 in order to protect the city from bombardments with a new kind of artillery. In 1914 the fortress was needed for the first time. It proved a disaster, the German guns shot the fortress into little pieces, out of the range of the Belgian guns. During the height of the bombardment, the fortress was hit by 20 granates per minute. A direct hit in the munition storage caused a part of the fortress to collapse and burry more than 70 people inside its galleries. To remember these soldiers and the fierce resistance of the fortress a monument was erected. After the first world war it was clear the ring of fortresses wouldn't stop an enemy, and the fortresses were no longer to be used as defence positions. This fortress was put in use of the civil protection, which stored a lot of gasmasks and other things needed to protect the people in case of a war. When the cold war ended in the late eighties the civil protection lost interest in the fortress. Until 1992 the barracks were used as a center for asylum seeking people. In that year there was a big fire and the center was closed. Since then the fortress is abandoned. Finding a new destination for the fortress and its buildings proves difficult, because of the 70+ soldiers still buried in its galleries.