Harmonie Wijk Antwerpen

Park Harmonie and the Harmonie Concert Hall

Harmonie Wijk

Harmoniezaal 2011

Welcome to Vinkenhof Park

The name Vinkenhof

Vink is a popular bird in Europe, its German name is Buchfink, its English name is Chaffinch, and in French it is called “Pinson des arbres”, in Polish Zięba and in Czech’s Pěnkava.  Very typical European bird, it is migratory but on short distances. Some chaffinches are flying to nearby North Africa for the winter or to less hot south-west Siberia for the summer. Some of them just fly from east to the west within Europe.

The Flemish chaffinches (vinken) were very popular amongst the people and in 16th century these birds were kept by many as a pet. A sort of sport was developed; the owners of birds were coming together with their chaffinches and organized competition which bird will sing the most melodies during one hour.

Hof means in Dutch a place that is protected by a fence or other means thus, “Vinkenhof” suggest that this terrein was in the past protected by its owner and that were also vinken (chaffinches) kept over here. It could be also that the owner took part in the singing competitions and was famous in Antwerp due to his chaffinches.
Vinkenhof 1 Vinkenhof 2

Vinkenhof today

Today one part of this terrain is reserved as a private park belonging to quite big apartment building for elderly people and the other part is made to a small park for the public. This apartment building for elderly people has also the name Vinkenhof. In the Vinkenhof parks there are still one or two of very old threes growing in and between these two parks, these trees probably still remember the times when chaffinches were kept and singing here during competitions.

Drzewo full Drzewo inside

The artistic lyceum nearby has found an idea to take some care for this small park and in exchange uses it to present their paintings.

Vink Drzewo entrance Obrazy at Vink

The park is small but very nicely composed in the surrounding buildings. The place was recently discovered by Antwerp’s developers who created a few projects of new apartment buildings including one which is reengineering the old office building to apartments.

Children in the Vinkenhof Honden in the Vinkenhof

It does not matter how small the park really is but having apartment with a view on a park and possibility for children to play there is certainly attractive and the apartments being constructed around the Vinkenhof are far from being cheap.