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Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery

Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery

Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery

Between 1921 and 1981, 1,750 patients of the nearby Psychiatric Hospital found their final resting place in a cemetery deep in the woods of Rekem, Belgium.

The psychiatric hospital, which opened in 1921, took care of the funerals of (almost) exclusively male patients. The ties between patients and family were often entirely severed.

The cemetery consists of simple, concrete crosses, where concrete rot often begins to set in.

Natural vegetation

Since 1981, the patients are no longer buried here but in the municipal cemetery. The Nature and Forest department is responsible for managing the old cemetery. It consciously chooses to let the vegetation take its course. Even more, the municipality of Lanaken opened the first natural cemetery in Flanders around the old cemetery in 2018.

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