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Opsinjoorke

The bronze statue in front of the Town Hall shows Opsinjoorke in full flight. The original doll was made in 1647. It is carried in ceremonial and religious processions and thrown into the air by means of a large linen cloth. It was originally called Sotscop or Foul Bridegroom, a reference to inebriated husbands who maltreated their wives. Divorce was absolutely forbidden in those days, and so the doll was symbolically punished (thrown into the air) for the sins of these men.

The doll acquired its current name on July 4th 1775 when, during a religious procession, the doll went beyond the reach of the cloth and landed among the crowd. An onlooker from Antwerp put out his arms to ward off the doll, but was accused of trying to steal the Sotscop. After receiving a sound thrashing from the patriotic people of Mechelen, he sent a letter of protest to the Mechelen magistrate pleading his innocence. From then on Sotscop became known as Opsinjoorke, 'sinjoor' being the nickname of the people of Antwerp!

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Grote Markt 21, Mechelen

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