Merksplas Kolonie

Merksplas Colony and Wortel Colony are historical sites in Belgium that are part of the former Belgian penal colony system. These colonies were established in the 19th century and served as re-education and forced-labour camps for prisoners and vagrants. Today, however, they are no longer prisons and are open to the public as UNESCO cultural heritage and recreational areas.

There are lots of activities and attractions you can take part in:

Historical tours:

Visitors can take historical tours to learn more about the history of the colonies, the living conditions of prisoners and vagrants, and the reforms implemented over the years. At the visitor centre, you can watch an animated film on the origins of the Colonies.

Walking and cycling:

Merksplas Colony and Wortel Colony are located in beautiful natural surroundings and offer access to extensive hiking and cycling routes. This makes them ideal for lovers of the outdoor s.

Horse riding:

Equestrians can also have a great time in the beautiful Colony area

Picnicking and relaxing:

With vast green areas and picnic areas, the Colonies are an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature.



– Monday to Sunday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
– Kapelstraat 10, 2330 Merksplas
– More info? Website visitor centre Kolonie 5-7

Find a campsite

Find a campsite