Schoonselhof Cemetery (Antwerp, Belgium)

The Schoonselhof cemetery is situated near Antwerp in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium.

In 1911 the city of Antwerp bought the 84 hectare estate, before a domain with castle, to use it as a park cemetery to the model of Ohlsdorf, Hamburg. To drain the swampy grounds they bordered the various parks with dug out ditches. On August the 8th 1914 military parks of honour are created. The first person to be buried at the Schoonselhof was a German soldier. (in August 29th 1914) Since September 1st 1921 the Schoonselhof is a public cemetery. Here we find a lot of monuments who were transferred in 1938 from the old Kiel cemetery, after its closure in 1936. A small, almost unnoticeable grave is that of Maria S’ Heeren. In August the 15th 1902, during the tour of the procession of light, the last carriage of splendour, belonging to the Leopold company, and on which the girl was tied up, suddenly caught fire. Maria, who portrayed the snow queen, was burned alive. She became the symbol of innocence and was buried as a martyr by thousands of Antwerp citizens. In the middle of the concrete road stands the angel monument created by the sculptor Arthur Pierre. It is the last resting place of Peter Benoit. He taught his people how to sing and is the founder of the Flemish music school, in 1867. 

We can visit the last resting place of other composers as Jan Blockx and Armand Preud’homme; of famous painters as Hendrik De Braekeleer, Karel Verlat and Theodoor Verstraete; sculptors as Vic Gentils and Albert Szukalski and writers as Gerard Walschap, Paul Van Ostaijen, Willem Elsschot, Marnix Gijsen, Hubert Lampo, Herman De Coninck and Hendrik Conscience, writer of “De Leeuw van Vlaanderen” (The lion of Flanders). A colossal lion guards his grave. In the Schoonselhof cemetery are a lot of monuments for freemasons with a monumental tomb for Isidore Eyerman. The largest monumental memorial of the entire Schoonselhof is the statue of mayor Leopold De Wael. Plastic arts artist and musician Ferre Grignard lies here also. He had a world hit in 1966 with the song “Ring, ring, I’ve got to sing”. There is also a Israelian burial place which is dominated by the Tolkowskymausoleum in neo-moor architecture, erected in 1913. 

On our way to the military burial grounds we cannot ignore the castle, built in classical French style. There is also the British soldiers cemetery with a quiet chapel. Further on we find the graves of the victims of the world wars of 1940-1945 and 1914-1918. Here rest only the soldiers of the allied armies. The German soldiers were transferred to Vladslo (1914-1918) and to Lommel (1940-1945).

Schoonselhof Cemetery

Krijgsbaan: Sint Bernardsesteenweg
2660 Antwerp Belgium
Tel. +32.3.740.36

Points of interest


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Tourist information

Phone: +32.3.232 01 03
Visiting address: Grote Markt, Antwerp
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Tourist information about the city