'De Keizer' inn

De Keizer refers to the period of the Wechel School of Painting.
A.J. Heymans, Jaak Rosseels and F. Crabeels made Wechelderzande the 'Flemish Barbizon'. Thanks to them, the Wechel landscape can be admired in numerous museums.

This building was owned by the De Proost family who owned all the stone buildings in the village in the 17th century. Hof d'Intere formed the adjacent plot. 

Afterwards, the property came into the hands of Peeter Wils - Spapen, alderman of the twin village of Wechel-Vlimmeren. The name De Keizer first appears in 1730, when daughter Anna Wils was the owner. 

In 1871, it came into the hands of the Verloy - Heylen family. Their only daughter Philomena married Cesar Smans, and from then on De Keizer became a household name, especially in the artistic community. It became a meeting point for painters, several of whom were part of the Wechel School of Painting. Jozef Simons found inspiration in De Keizer for his novel 'Dientje Goris', for which a daughter of Cesar Smans was the muse. 

De Keizer is now owned by the descendants of Victor Helsen, who bought it in 1934. In 1992, the building was renovated. The studio was removed, but the outer facade was retained.