Introduction – The city gates of Antwerp were part of the Grote Omwalling and included several monumental structures. In 1907 this series of defensive positions were decommissioned. Several plans were made to transform this newly gained space. In 1914 the German invasion of Belgium forced the Belgian military to reoccupy most gates and barracks. Actual demolition of the Grote Omwalling took place in the late 60′ as the Antwerp ring road was constructed (E3 Project). All monumental gates were destroyed leaving only two pillars. Some road intersections on the Singel ring road still refer to the former gates.
In June 2014 the former post distribution center Antwerp X was demolished in order to allow a new training center of the Province of Antwerp to be built in its place. During these works remains of the former Spoorbaan Gate were discovered. Some emergency archeology was conducted on the site. After one week of excavations all trances were torn down.
MiLANT contributed to this project by taking pictures of the site and conducting some measurements of the unearthed evidence. Based on these readings a 3D model was created. It was one of the rare occasions that actual debris and material from the gates resurfaced.
Description – The lunet of Kiel was built in support of the citadel of Antwerp. It was located southwest of Antwerp on a short distance away from the river Scheldt.
Construction & Armament – This lunet constructed in 1817 featured a wet moat. The facing ramparts measure 100m while the flanks measure 40m. These ramparts add up to a roughly spearhead design just as its counterpart lunet Saint Laureis. It had only one entrance to the northeast. The lunet is considered a fort in some sources because it features a crenelated wall facing the citadel. Since it is not known whether there was a garrison stationed on a permanent basis it is currently classified as an older redoubt.
Current condition – The lunet of Kiel was considered an integral part of the citadel and it retained this status. During the siege of 1832 it was bombarded by French forces until the citadel surrendered on the 23th of December. The Belgian Army occupied the site but the citadel was ordered to be abandoned from 1870 onward. Most of the structures are presumed to be destroyed but some trances may still be found because the construction of the Antwerp South railway station did not employ deep digging. Aerial photos suggest the shape of the lunet can still be discerned; the former night club Zillion is located on this site.
Sources – Own elaboration;