The monastery gardens of the Engelenburcht ‘Castle of Angels’ in Tildonk are the perfect place for remembering our war history. A century ago, the monastery was captured by German soldiers, bringing four years of turbulence to both the nuns and the local people.

The gardens have recently been restored and are now a place for peace and reflection. 

To mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War, Tourism Flemish Brabant has turned one willow tree in the Engelenburcht gardens into a haiku tree. Visitors are invited to sit on a bench below the branches of the tree and read the haiku – or write their own. They can have their haiku engraved by a local social enterprise, to be hung among the branches of the willow tree. 

None other than Herman Van Rompuy (first President of the European Council) is the ambassador of this haiku tree. 

What is a Haiku exactly? Haiku (俳句) is a very short Japanese poem that consists of three verses with five, seven and five syllables, respectively. 

Make sure to also visit the experience center in the former Ursuline cloister where you can put yourself in the shoes of a resident of Flemish Brabant during the Great War of ’14-’18.