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Mark Billiau.


World Member, region Antwerp, Belgium

The ‘Fischbach’ chapel

The ‘Fischbach’ chapel is located just at the edge of the vast and desolate swamps of ‘Hohes Venn’ (the greatest and oldest National Park of Belgium and the most unique nature biotope in the land).

Around 1808 there was a small and poor cottage on this place, the very only settlement in this forsaken area.
It was used as an inn and rest area for the stagecoaches between the then Prussia and Belgium.
A bell was rung frequently there by the innkeeper Michel Schmitz during heavy fog, to save the life of people that were travelling on foot through the swamps and had lost their way (wooden paths as nowadays didn’t exist yet and sadly but many people died at that time in the swamps).

The chapel itself was built next to the cottage in 1830 by order and gratitude of the rich industrial Henri-Toussaint Fischbach, whose father-in-law was saved around 1819 by the bell of the inn, after being totally lost in the swamps during a hunting trip.
A new larger bell and also a small lantern were installed on the chapel's roof.
From that moment on, the lantern was lit by the innkeeper every evening (until his dead in 1856).
Many lives were saved this way thanks to the light and bell of this ‘Fischbach’ chapel.

It’s a true story, not a legend.

Location : Baraque Michel (-16°)

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