Exhibition shows forgotten history of orphans

2 min
Text Lise Wouters

The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), the Maiden’s House Museum and the University of Antwerp are joining forces in the exhibition ‘Children in Care. Six centuries, three locations, one story’. It will run until 7 January 2024, giving visitors the opportunity to discover the little-known history of the care for orphans, foundlings and other vulnerable children at these three locations in Antwerp.


Who were the ‘Children in Care’? Visitors will get a unique look at life in the former Foundling House (ITM), the Maiden’s House and the Servant’s House (UAntwerp), as well as their contemporary use. The three locations are connected through a themed city walk.

The first thousand days


Where we now find the monumental art-deco building of the ITM, once stood the Foundling House. Until the end of the 19th century, young mothers would leave their newborns here in a foundling chute. At the ITM, visitors will find out about the impact of scientific research on the health of children and mothers worldwide, the importance of the first thousand days and the history of the building.

From servants to masters


Behind the impressive façade of UAntwerp on Paardenmarkt, there is the Servant’s House, with its beautiful courtyard and splendidly restored industrial school. Here, visitors will explore the history of product manufacturing and craftmanship, and discover what Product Development students and researchers do.


Children in need of care


The Maiden’s House paints a picture of life at the old girls’ orphanage. Stories, music and animations bring Antwerp’s most famous girl orphan, Houten Clara, back to life.

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