Schelde Vrij/Scheldt Free

After Belgium declared its independence in 1830, the Netherlands instituted a toll in the river Scheldt. The Belgian government bought off this toll in 1863. Ten years later, the city organised a design competition for a monument to commemorate this event. Jacques Winders won the competition and he created his design together with the sculptors Louis Dupuis and Jacques de Braekeleer.
The monument was sculpted onsite in a workshop that was built on top of the foundations. It took ten years to complete. Various figures and symbols refer to the city, the Scheldt and its re-opening.

Signing of the lifting of the toll
The monument before the fence around it was installed
Drawing of the monument in the city’s commemorative book