Nature Reserve "De Maten" - Mol
The whole reserve(almost 200ha) is built out of 5 smaller protected areas.
1. Nature Walking Park: "Den Diel" 23ha
2. Central Reserve area 65ha
3. Water areas 16ha
4. Small "Verkallen " 30ha
5. Bush terrain 18 ha
Around the Reserve you'll find a large buffer zone of fields and forests.
Mol, a collection of many neighbourhoods
When one looks at the map, it becomes clear that Mol actually is a town with many connected villages. One of them is the neighbourhood "Sluis" famous for it's Jakob Smits-museum (see other tips). "Sluis" is to be recognised easily as for the pointy top of the tower of Saint Bernardus church. This wonderful building is truely a lust for eye in the small village that has surroundings that are famous for their artistic landscapes.
Belgium, country ripped apart by wars
Belgium suffered of all European countries the most of the worldwars that drove through our continent. The first worldwar was horrible as Belgium was occupied, cut of from The Netherlands (neutral zone) and partly in the frontline. The second worldwar another occupation followed and the ones that suffered most were the average citizens of the country. Therefor in almost all Belgian towns and villages, you will find a war memorial. The one in Mol is behind the church and very touching, as can be seen in the picture.
Also in Belgium, many windmills to be seen
Mol holds in a hidden corner in a neighbourhood to the West, a windmill. These were not used for draining land (polder mills) like in The Netherlands, but to grind seeds, grane or any other products from agricultural source. Mol's windmill is a classic with white tower and straw top cap. A nice sight against the forests that are in the neighbourhood.
Natural surroundings in the "Kempen"
Between the Limburgian heights and the lower plains of Antwerpen, Mol and it's surroundings are very green and nature friendly. Tourism is now-a-days swiftly growing as for this and there is a conflict growing whether mass-tourism wouldn;t damage the nature to much. Therefor people are getting aware in eco-centres like "De Goren" in Mol. It's educational idea helps to understand what can be done and what shouldn't be done in regards of nature.
Small rivers running through wide plains
The "Kempen" is an area that can be described as a wide plain with sandy soil (poor). Many forests are around and small rivers cross the plain from East to West to eventually join the Schelde near Antwerpen. One of the rivers goes straight through Mol, this is the Nete. Just behind the church one can walk to the right into a small park and there it is, spreading it's peaceful sound along the green fields and high trees.
From the pastor to the "deaken" house
In 1910-1911 the "dekenij" was built as the house of the spiritual leader of the church, the "deaken". Gossiping in Mol lead to the fact that this neo-Gothical towards late-Gothical / renaissance building was put next to the church. Before the house of the pastor was much to far away, symbolising according to some people the distance that the pastor actually had with the church (representing the believe) itself.
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