Park Brakkenstein   As early as 1654

When in 1874 the Fortification Law was approved, the hated city walls could finally be broken down. While, from 1876 onwards, the demolition of large parts of the fortifications was started, the preservation of a part of the city wall near the monumental Kronenburger Tower was already pleaded for in the first city expansion plans. The tower and city wall would form the background for a newly to be constructed city park. 
The construction of the park designed by garden architect Liévin Rosseels from Leuven was started after 1880. The hilly terrain, though artificially so, was planted with many trees and bushes. At the foot of the Kronenburger tower the remains of the oldest harbour of the city were changed into a pond. Also added were a deer park and, later on, a large birdhouse. 
The park is dominated by the Kronenburger Tower, which is more than 30 metres high, and which is also known as 'Kruittoren' (Gunpowder Tower), because it was formerly used as a powder magazine. The defence tower was built in 1425-1426 as part of the second ring of city walls, which turned a corner at this point. To the south of the tower, the walls are of later date (16th century). First, there is the roundel 'De Roomse Voet'. This projecting part of the city wall until recently housed a museum of mushrooms and toadstools. Some 100 metres further on there is the St. Jacob's Tower. On top of this bastion there used to be the St. Jacob's Mill. As part of the dismantlement, the city council wanted to buy and demolish this mill as soon as possible, but the mill's owner managed to preserve the building, which was nicknamed Sans Souci, until 1887. The memory of the mill lives on in the stone tablet above a window of the corner building Parkweg-Van Berchenstraat.



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