Wet 't nog?

Wet 't nog?

Erfgoed Balen invites you to a nostalgic walk in the center of the community. In the ErfgoedApp they developed a route full of recognizable places and interesting anecdotes about the times of the past. Curious how their initiative came about? Bram Dierckx of Erfgoed Balen tells you more about the project.

Digital heritage and care

Dierckx: "Together with the local rest homes, Tourism Balen, VVV and Seniorenraad Balen, Erfgoed Balen developed a tour in the ErfgoedApp with multimedia information. The outdoor offer of activities for older people is not evident and was virtually non-existent in Balen. We filled that gap with a nostalgic walk, completely tailored to people with dementia. We deliberately chose the term "nostalgic walk" as an alternative to "dementia walk" in order to offer a tour without any prejudice or connotation.

The ErfgoedApp gave the tour an extra dimension and made a lot of authentic sources easily accessible. Images, sounds and film clips combine with the tour and the text to complete the picture. Walkers receive a whole series of 'stimuli' and forgotten places of yesteryear are brought back to life. By means of striking images, sounds and film clips, the tour evokes memories. Whoever takes the tour will also get a new memory on top of it."

From start

The broad outlines of the project were sketched out by several partners, creating support for the project. Bram Dierckx: "The initial phase needed a lot of lead time, but once the objectives were defined, the ideas took shape very quickly. The elaboration of the content and the final product was done by Erfgoed Balen in a specific working group. This made it possible to work effectively on a concept that had been around for a while.

For the sake of the proposed target audience, a conscious decision was made to keep text to a minimum. As an alternative, images and film clips are given the leading role. At each point along the route, visitors are given a small introduction and an animated film with spoken commentary. Visitors can thus watch and listen ... and then let their own memories come to life. The films were intentionally recorded by "youthful and neutral" voices. After all, we learned from previous experiences that the combination and cooperation between seniors and youth works well."


For the tour, the filing cabinets of the archive and documentation center were literally pulled open and a lot of unique, never-before-seen footage and film clips came out of the closet.

Along the way, the tour takes into account a less mobile audience and is fully wheelchair accessible. Although the initial intention was to appeal primarily to persons with dementia, the final product became a route that will appeal to many other visitors as well. The walk is suitable for anyone who wants to discover Balen-Centrum through retro glasses.


Meanwhile, the various retirement homes and the Senior Citizens Council already set up some group walks. The reactions have been very positive. There are even some "experts by experience" who have already completed the nostalgic walk several times.

Bram Dierckx: "In the future, Erfgoed Balen wants to make a few more improvements, including the visibility of the route for the visually impaired. After all, most smartphone screens are very small. Through the Balen Leisure Center, we are also trying to provide tablets with a mobile connection, which is necessary to download the tour. Those larger screens with better sound will have to contribute to an optimal experience of the route for both visually impaired and hearing impaired people and larger groups."

Don't miss this tour because:

  • The tour is completely free.
  • You will pass by "ordinary" and "everyday" buildings and places that are completely brought to life by the route in ErfgoedApp .
  • Alone, in group, young or old, already forgetful or not ... The route offers something for everyone.
  • Everyone can (re)discover something new, old, new old or old new along the way.
  • The videos each time place all points on the route in their proper historical and spatial context and are therefore a real asset that Heritage Balen itself is rightly proud of. In this way, they were really able to lower the threshold and provide a lot of unique resources.

Fancy it?

  • Distance: 3 km
  • Duration: 1.30 hours
  • Start and end point: Leisure Center De Kruierie, Bevrijdingsstraat 1, 2490 Balen. The walk starts at the parking lot in front of VC De Kruierie and the Balen Library.

Would you like more info about this walking route? Then stop by the entrance of the Vrijetijdscentrum De Kruierie or the Oud Gemeentehuis. Discover more info here and here.