Ekeren, Saint Lawrence’s Church
The Saint Lawrence church in Ekeren-Schoonbroek is literally an outsider, both in terms of location and architecture. During the expansion of the port of Antwerp, several polder villages were completely wiped off the map, including the neighbouring Wilmarsdonk. The centuries-old Gothic village church had to face it and was demolished in 1966. Its tower is the only beacon of the vanished village that has remained standing lonely amidst endless piles of containers. In order to provide the displaced population with a new home, the new Schoonbroek district was built next to the village of Ekeren, which was to become an independent parish. As heir to the parish of Wilmarsdonk she was also assigned the patron saint of the disappeared Wilmarsdonk: Lawrence.
The emergency chapel served for some 25 years until the inauguration of the current church in 1980, designed by P. Schellekens and K. Beuten.
As heir to the former village church of Wilmarsdonk, this modern church houses some of the works of art and religious artefacts from the demolished polder church. The most striking and rich in sound, of course, is the recently restored Baroque Bremser organ, which is almost unique. It dates from the third quarter of the 17th century.