Tour of Kazerne Dossing

Gain an appreciation of Belgium's experience during the Holocaust as you explore one of the country's major memorial sites, the Kazerne Dossin, a former 18th-century barracks possessing an ominous link to German concentration camps.

  • Code
  • Level
  • Walking Type
  • Activity Type
  • Age
    All ages
  • Duration
    4.5 Hours
Depart from your river ship for a comfortable drive by motor coach to the city of Mechelen, located midway between Antwerp and Brussels.

During the German occupation of Belgium in World War II, the central location of Mechelen and its Kazerne Dossin (Dossin Barracks), situated next to a railway, contributed to this city's tragic connection with the Holocaust. More than 25,000 Jews and 350 gypsies were deported from Mechelen to Auschwitz-Birkenau and other smaller concentration and extermination camps, when the barracks served as a deportation center.

Today, the Kazerne Dossin exists as the Memorial, Museum & Documentation Center on Holocaust and Human Rights, a unique place of commemoration. Not only does it address Belgium's experience, but it seeks to discover the mechanisms of group pressure and collective violence that can lead to mass murder and genocide. Its collection of stories, testimonies and images bears witness to the discrimination and deportation that occurred during this dark period, and seeks to shed light on the mechanisms behind the violation of human rights, in the past and present.

After the guided tour, there will be some free time for you to explore the museum further or relax in the museum's café. Your tour concludes with a short walk back to your motor coach for a relaxing drive back to your Crystal river ship.
Important Notes:
This excursion involves walking over flat surfaces at a slow pace inside the museum during a guided tour. Elevators and folding chairs are available on each floor of the museum. The tour is suitable for wheelchairs. Weather can change rapidly, so guests should bring an umbrella and sunscreen.