Antwerp seeks partner for construction of public swimming area in docks
Antwerp is looking for a partner to make water recreation possible in the “Bonapartedok” next to the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS). Soon, it should be possible to take a refreshing dip in the water where it is currently forbidden to swim, writes the Belgian newspaper De Standaard.
“People in Antwerp will be able to swim on 't Eilandje again. We are looking for a partner to make this possible,” says port councillor Annick De Ridder.
The part of the dock on the Tavenier quayside will be reserved for water recreation, from swimming to other water-related activities. Alongside the swimming area, a catering establishment may be constructed, considering the city wants to prioritise the family-friendliness of the location.
With this announcement, the Flemish city is joining other cities, most famously Brussels, in responding to the growing need of residents and tourists to cool off during the increasingly hot and dry summers.
In March, the city already launched a call for tender for the commercial use of the “Bonapartedok” with a focus on water recreation and the experience of water, in line with the Stadshavenplan 2020-2030.
“Antwerp has a rich culture of enjoyment and is the sports capital of Flanders. Combining these two aspects of Antwerp’s DNA and strengthening our links with the water is the greatest ambition for our city port,” mayor Bart De Wever said at the time.
“With this decision, we are looking for a fully-fledged use for the Bonapartedok, with room for water, sport and pleasure.”
© BELGA PHOTO (AFP GEORGES GOBET) Boats are moored in the docks built by Napoleon Bonaparte in Antwerp, in front of today's Museum aan de Stroom (MAS). Napoleon built two docks in the north of the city: the Bonaparte Basin and the basin Guillaume, both still used today.