Description – Fort VII is located near the community of Wilrijk and is the second fort of this community. It is a classic star-shaped brick Brialmont fort. It was built to protect the city of Antwerp from bombardement. A railroad supported the fort.
Construction & Armament – Fort VII is one of the two forts in Wilrijk (Antwerp) and is considered to be a standard brick work Brialmont defensive structure. It differs from its counterparts only in details. This fort features a wet moat (partly filled up), a caponnière, two halve caponnière galleries and a central reduit. It was upgraded with concrete before the outbreak of the Great War. since it was part of the veiligheidstelling (security defense line). Adjacent to the fort lies the Schoonselhof Cemetry.
Current condition – The Belgian Army kept maintenance of the site for several years until it was abandoned in 1975 and left almost untouched. The fort is average condition but is likely to deteriorate quickly: the central reduit is virtually undamaged but the fort itself is a bit overgrown. It is a protected habitat for plants and certain animals but upkeep of the fort is not a priority. A part of the moat was filled up, the existing moat is used for recreational fishing. Parts of the Flemish youth program “Kapitein Zeppos” were recorded in this fort.
Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; De Wit, G.