This is Doel, a 400-year-old village north-west of Antwerp that has been at the heart of a political battle for survival for over two decades. A state-funded corporation is seeking to raze it to make way for the land-hungry port of Antwerp. But members of the ever-dwindling local populace are fighting to keep their homes and the village alive. They say a second container dock isn’t necessary since the previous one, which opened in 2005, is being used to less than a fifth of its capacity (the corporation disputes this figure). What’s more, they argue, the riverside village has lush nature, culture and heritage in abundance – plus the first stone-mill in Belgium and a listed early 17th-century house that belonged to Peter Paul Rubens‘s family.

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30aug15. Doel, Belgium.



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