Description – Fort VIII is located near the community of Hoboken and close to the river Scheldt. It was built to protect the city of Antwerp from bombardement guarding the Saint Bernard main road and rail connection. It also served as a fort closing the southern part of the river Scheldt defenses.
Construction & Armament – Fort VIII is the only fort left without concrete upgrade. It is therefore a prime example of an unaltered Brialmont fort. It differs from its counterparts only in details. The fort features a wet moat (partly filled up and occupied by a sports terrain), a caponnière, two halve caponnière galleries and a central reduit. Adjacent to the fort several redoubts and the sourthern Scheldt battery were constructed. It does not feature an officers’ building. Because of the terrain the wet moat is less wide and the ramparts are a bit more steep.
Current condition – The Belgian Army abandoned the site in 1975.The fort is good condition when referring to the reduit and the main building. This is largely due to efforts by a local guided tour association. The artillery entrance has been converted to a pub and the left caponniere is used as festivities hall. The reduit is in very good condition since some of the trees and vegetation has been removed. It is a fort were one can find original wooden servitude housing (a former officers’ quarter).
Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Caremans, V; Oliviers, T.; De Wit, G.