This plot is located northwest of Nieuwenhove Castle and already had this toponym (place name) on a map from 1683. A rabbit mountain is an artificially constructed hill where domestic rabbits can dig. Such a mound usually had a surface area of 40 to 50 m² and was fenced with iron wire so that the rabbits could not escape. The toponym itself is common in the area around Breda and Veghel in North Brabant, where the animal was introduced by humans in the 13th century. However, the phenomenon occurred in many more places than just North Brabant and Nieuwenhove Castle near Zwijnaarde. For example, a good example of a still existing rabbit mound can be found in the Archbishop's Palace in Kroměříž in the Czech Republic. The attached photo shows a sketch from 1691 of this rabbit mountain, which gives an idea of what this mountain may have looked like near Nieuwenhove Castle. There is also a remnant of such a rabbit mound in the Bos t'Ename, but it had a practical use rather than an artistic one, unlike Kroměříž. This structure is nowhere visualized or mentioned on the map from 1683, which may mean that this mountain must have already disappeared by then. The proximity of a castle and the presence of a castle garden by analogy with the Archbishop's Palace and Gardens in Kroměříž suggests that this hill must have been there, but that it has disappeared.
Source: Lennard Derudder
Gent, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
More about this place of interest
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