Death cells & execution site

In the town hall courtyard, an execution pole commemorates the atrocities that took place here during WW1. At least four soldiers appeared before the firing squad here. The prison cells date from 1913.

During World War I, many Belgian, British and French soldiers spent one or more nights here. They were sentenced for drunkenness or for staying away from their soldiers' quarters. Those caught visiting bars during prohibited hours also risk a prison sentence. Some leave a mark in the form of graffiti: drawings of busty ladies, a name or a date, lewd remarks, a reference to the regiment, ...

For some soldiers, this is death row. This is where they spend their last hours, waiting to be executed. The execution takes place in the courtyard of the town hall, at dawn. At least four soldiers were executed in this courtyard.

Today it is a symbolic site, a lasting and haunting indictment of the execution. Especially for this site, Erwin Mortier wrote the poem 'Licht, grauw licht ...'

On death row, you can experience the last moments of a soldier sentenced to death and decipher the graffiti left by prisoners.

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