Squeezed in between a nuclear power plant, the Antwerp Harbour and the Schelde river, lies Belgiums most famous ghost town. The village of Doel was supposed to be demolished to make way for the expanding Antwerp container port, plans for this existed since 1965. More and more inhabitants left, voluntarily or otherwise.
I walked the streets of Doel on several occasions between 2008 and 2010; yet another disaster tourist with a camera. Empty houses, occasionally a pet in the window, abandoned shops and streets, buildings photographed on previous visits already replaced by weed covered waste grounds, only the café was still in business. On each visit the container cranes had moved closer and graffiti had increased; squatters, arsonists and protest rallies had left their marks.
In 2019 the Flemish government decided the expansion of the container port was no longer economically viable. In the meantime the rural surroundings have been sacrificed and the village itself has been transformed into a unlivable, post-apocalyptic movie set. About 20 inhabitants remain, as well as the government plans for demolition. Doel has been around since the 13th century. Go Doel.