The Janssen brothers: The End!

There won’t be any foreign visitors at Schoolstraat 6 anymore in the future…. PIPA is auctioning their entire colony, directly from Arendonk!

It is about five months since we last visited the town of Arendonk. Arendonk is a small town in the Antwerp Kempen region, but it is world-renowned in international pigeon racing. Any respected fancier that has ever come to Belgium, payed a visit to Arendonk for sure. It were the Janssen brothers who stole the show for the most part. They are world-renowned for the pigeons they bred. More than 100 years ago – this is not a typing error – ‘Drieske’ started playing with the pigeons. It was the year 1884...

In 1886, he founded a pigeon association in Arendonk, to make sure that other villagers could become fanciers as well. Back in the days, you needed more than good racing pigeons, you also needed someone who could run fast. As fanciers did not have their own clocks, the pigeons had to be brought to the local club as quickly as possible for time registration. One of the best runners was Fik van Jan Pientjes, the miller. He ran for Kup and Gust Peeters.In 1914-1918, there were no pigeon races, but pigeons were allowed to fly from 12 o’clock in the afternoon to 10 o’clock in the evening. As for pigeon feed, fanciers had to resort to acorns that were dried and cut.  The Germans had installed a monthly control council, and all dead or missing birds had to be reported. Father Janssen remained a fancier until 1947. Meanwhile, his sons had already taken over several of his activities. The Second World War was a difficult period as well. Pigeons now had to be fed with grains. But the Janssens fed the grains to their pigs, and the pigeons were instead given the best feed available. Despite hard times, 50 pigeons survived the war.

The golden age already started in 1933, and from 1945 to 1954, they won 154 first prizes. They believe that their successes can be contributed to the fact that they could start with very healthy pigeons (that were well taken care of in wartime), and that crossings made their stem better and better. No special feed or drinks were given to the pigeons. Soon, the Janssens birds became world-famous. Their descendants were wanted far beyond Belgium, and can be found in The Netherlands, France, Germany, Great-Britain, Denmark, Bangkok, Japan, South-Africa, etc. In recent years, very large bids were made for the ‘impressive’ breeding pigeons that were sitting in the lofts of Louis Janssen. But he never sold any of them. “All breeding pigeons should stay here”, he used to say. And nobody could ever change his mind. But in the last few months, his health deteriorated. He is the last remaining descendant of the family... At the moment, he is almost 100 years old, an age at which health problems are inevitable. He is now in hospital, so he is not capable of taking care of the pigeons. Then, a child of one of the Janssen brothers read a report in the ‘De Duif’ newspaper, written by Ad Schaerlaeckens. Schaerlaeckens commented on the high bids that were sometimes made on websites (he directly referred to PIPA), and so, the descendants decided to contact PIPA. They had never heard of bidding sites, as they did not have an internet connection at home. So they could not witness the enormous sums that have been offered on PIPA in recent years. A telephone call was made to the PIPA offices, we made an appointment, and a few days later, Thomas Gyselbrecht went to Arendonk himself. At the end of the day, he took all the pigeons with him, 24 old pigeons and two youngsters.

It was a strange sensation, having to take away all the pigeons at the Arendonk lofts…” (Thomas Gyselbrecht)

Last weekend, Thomas made the trip from Ghent to Arendonk, one he will never forget. “I have not been to the Schoolstraat in Arendonk very often.” So I felt honoured to be their guest, although it felt a bit strange as well: Louis Janssen was not sitting in his chair as head of the family as he used to. It was the family itself who asked to auction all the pigeons. There was no time to waste: Pack and go. At the same place where possibly thousands of pigeon fanciers had been, I had the opportunity to take the last top pigeons from the loft. For the first time since more than a hundred years, there would be no longer any pigeon in the loft. A special feeling!” In the meantime, all the pigeons are at a secret location, waiting to be auctioned.
And with the visit of Thomas Gyselbrecht in Arendonk, the entire pigeon dynasty disappears, created by the brothers Janssens. In pigeon racing, several icons have disappeared, for various reasons, often decease. But Louis Janssen and his brothers can for sure be considered one of the biggest icons. They deserve a statue...

Several stories have been going around at Schoolstraat n° 6, but the most striking story was that Louis was not at all fond of banks. “They are all thieves”, he used to say. As a result, he stored all his money at home, in his famous well, which was still in use until a couple of months ago. Sometimes, it was as if time stood still in Arendonk. Everything is authentic, like a ‘Bokrijk’ amid the Antwerp Kempen. Arendonk was pigeon racing, and pigeon racing was Arendonk. This was mostly the result of Louis Janssen and his companions. They turned Arendonk and the Schoolstraat into a sanctuary for pigeon fanciers. People would get on their knees to get hold of one of their pigeons. We witnessed it ourselves: they would pay anything. But then again, Louis Janssen showed them the endless waiting list in his notebook. In the last years, only a few couples housed his lofts, as Janssen had always kept things to a minimum, despite his fame.
They could have grown as much as they wanted, but Louis never wanted to. His ideas were always the same: small, healthy, good and of top quality. “That is all that matters”, he said recently. And he has right. Soon, his entire colony will be auctioned, somewhere mid-to-late April. Thomas Gyselbrecht is very proud: “I was probably the last person to walk around the lofts in Arendonk. I have mixed feelings though: we are proud to have the chance to auction this unique collection. But on the other hand, it is also a bit sad: Janssen is an icon, probably the only true icon that pigeon racing has ever known. It is a pity that this should come to an end!”


ou cette vente aura t elle lieu ???

Une vente internet qui commence 30 avril sur PIPA

Is very sad that nobody from his family didn't continued to keep the flag up, to rise pigeons...
Is the end of a dinasty...

Helaas komt aan alles een einde.

A truly historic occassion. No other fanciers have made such an impact upon pigeon racing in the whole world. A sad day to see the end of an era, but what great respect they have and deserve. The last pigeons to leave Arendonk must be worth a fortune, as collectors items, let alone their value as breeders.

Good luck to PIPA in organising a memorable auction.

Tony Harte

Au risque de paraitre un affreux empêcheur de s'enrichir en rond, je perçois cette vente comme la quintescence de cette colombophilie -fric dont pipa fait avec beaucoup d'efficacité la promotion .Est ce que le colombophile de base est interessé par cette vente,? qui est emblêmatique de la fin de la colombophilie traditionnelle des gens modestes et qui est en train de mourir ,compte tenu des prix qui seront annoncés avec la satisfaction des bons commerçants belges ,au profit d'une colombophilie extrême orientale peu sujette à rallier l'interet et la passion , et surtout pas celle des jeunes de chez nous . tout celà est désolant PL

The most wonderful day in my life, our meeting with the Janssens in 1982. In 2011 we make our comeback in the world of pigeonracing and our best bred was ...from the Raket generation.
Mr. Janssen we wish you all te best!

Het is inderdaad jammer dat er uit zo een duiven gezin /familie, met de nodige roem en faam, kwaliteit aan duiven niemand deze fakkel overneemt.

Vind het spijtig dat Louis de jongste, de laatste Janssen is met de duivenmicrobe, ik hoop echter dat louis de 100jr mag halen, dat hij zelfs nog véél ouder mag worden, spijtig genoeg hoe oud hij ook mag worden zijn duiven waren alles die zal hij moeten missen.

Hopelijk zijn er kopers die meerdere duiven kopen zodat de stam blijft bestaan.
Er zullen nieuwe Iconen geboren worden met de successen en het bloed van de Janssens.
En Louis wens ik uit het diepst van mijn duiven hart het allerbeste toe.

Niet te sentimenteel worden he mannen : "it's all about the money"

Het waren super mensen en ook de duiven waren super ik kwam er van 1989 en veel op de hokken geweest . en ik dank de mannen daar nog altijd voor .

it is really sad to know that the family of pigeons i always admire will say goodbye, but this will only make them immortal. visiting the janssens was one of my childhood dreams. the colony of the janssen brothers will never fade. long after we are all gone, the name janssen will still live on.


In year 1987 we're going to visit the legendary Janssen brothers. I met Louis, Charel and one more brother.
I remember they were very pleased to see a woman interessting in pigeons. Charel trust me to handle his worldfamous cock "019" - that was a very great moment in my life, I'll never forget!
Our great success in pigeon racing begins with the "Pilot" - family of "Witoger v.65", "019" and the original Janssen hen "88-013" a granddaughter "Afgekeurde 1298" and "Raketman".
Actually in our pigeon family you still can find the blood of the Janssen pigeons.
I'm sure PIPA will organize an auction of the last remaining pigeons, the entire pigeon world will never forget!
All the best: Louis!
Birgit from LückingLoft

I was shocked and saddened to read this article ... How Jansenn family is so famous name in the world of homing pigeon could end all this .... I hope its new owner can continue to provide the name jansenn in this strain, he was a great man in the world of homing pigeon...

Time and tide wait for no man,
so it is over for this family the Janssen dynasty.
Thankyou to this family who have been a part of our sport for many years, known to my G,Grandfather,my Grandfather, my Father and myself.
of course the memories will live on , my they allways be respected.

Sad, everything has an end including life! But Louis is still alive and i’m 100% sure that he is not aware that is “children” have gone.
This is proof that all along he knew what type of people he had as relatives.
What they have just done is not acceptable, is not human, and definitely has nothing to do with civilization.
They could have waited just a little longer for the GRATEST PIGEON BREEDER the world has ever had, to depart in piece.
Sorry but I deserve the right to my opinion!
I knew that home, family and Louis since 1968 and in the last two decades hardly a year went by that I did not pay a visit to Arendonk.
I proudly own what is probably the largest collection of direct Janssen in the world, (so Thomas, Portugal is also on the map) and you know that.
About two years ago in this same spot and in person in Belgium i appealed to Pipa and the Belgium Federation to consider a “little party” to say thank you to Louis for what that “enormous pigeon family” did to the pigeon sport in Belgium in particular and in the world in general.
Apparently looks like we did run out of time.
Inácio Oliveira (CIC Portugal)

very very sad that this has to come to an end Sad they founded a dynasty of birds to win the world over and shall be missed.i would just like to wish louis all the very best,creators of the greatest strain of birds ever Sad

This is indeed shocking news for pigeon fanciers worldwide. It will take another 100 years before somebody can duplicate what the Janssen has contributed to the sport. Crying or Very sad

in each loft even less blood flows to their birds. will live forever .. thank Janssen family!

gracias por todo hermanos janssen jamas los olvidaremos descansen en paz....thanks janssen brothers all mexico remember them forever r.i.p

There's no doubt that the Janssen pigeons are in every loft in the world. Thanks Janssen Brothers,you are the best.

Hoe lang zou het al geleden zijn dat ze daar nog gespeeld hebben ?



Exact weet ik dat niet maar er zal waarschijnlijk wel iemand zijn die dat heeft bijgehouden, maar onlangs zei iemand mij dat het een 30 tal jaren geleden was dat ze zelf nog met de duiven speelden.

Echter de dynasty werd in ere gehouden door het bloed op de hokken te houden en zo excellente kwekers te houden waaruit de successen behouden bleven op de hokken van menig liefhebber.
Maar zo als altijd ben je met één duivin of één duiver niet veel dus moet je er minimaal een 4tal op je hok hebben zitten of.....weten waar je de janssen duiven moet halen om voort te kunnen kweken en spelen.

Janssen duiven zijn nu een levende legende geworden, Louis bijna 100jr en mogelijk word hij nog ouder dan 100 zijn levenlang tussen de duiven gezeten (wie zegt nu dat je van duiven ziek word "stoflongen" e.d.).
Echt waar ik heb een diep respect voor Louis en wijlen zijn gebroeders.

Mr. Kulbacki,

The photos will be published latest in the auction which starts 30th of April.

We might consider to put them online earlier.


without a doubt,the icons of pigeon racing,without the brothers influence,pigeon racing would be a very different sport today,if it even survived!!,long will their name live on.
such a shame no younger generation carries on the most famous name that ever exsisted or ever will,in this great sport.,end of an era.god bless them.

Shocking...! Yet hard to believe that this is Mr Louis Janssen who took the decision himself to part with his much loved pigeons and NO ONE ELSE was forcing him? I wish Mr Louis Janssen the best of Health and a Long life. I believe his pigeons would also be sad to leave their loft for ONE LAST TIME.

It's very sad. We wish Mr. Louis Janssen much health!

Best regards, Tomasz Biskup (Poland)

Hallo Thomas, van de week even naar het beroemde huis aan de schoolstraat geweest, de buurman zei dat Louis volgende week honderd jaar wordt,vertelde ook dat Louis opgenomen was,wij waren op vakantie.Heb nog naar de duiven proberen te luisteren, het is een drukke straat met veel school gaande kinderen, dus dat viel niet mee, maar zoals ik nu lees waren de duiven toen al weg, heb samen met mijn vrouw nog wel het huis en het beroemde deurtje op de foto gezet.Ze hebben toch de duivensport op de kaart gezet(de Janssens). Daarna na Retie geweest, alleen maar duivenhokken met of zonder zonnepanelen, leuk om te zien.
Veel succes met de verkoop van de echte Janssens,
Leo Jansen

Ps. de buurman vreesde voor een soort bedevaartsoord, was ik de eerste nadat de duiven weg waren?
zal de foto's wel eens opsturen.


Sad to hear the end of the era of the Janssen Bros.There pigeons have dominated lofts all over the world for years now and will continue to do so for the future. Good Luck.

AMAI 30 jaar niet meer gespeeld en daar gaan nog straffe stambomen tevoorschijn komen ik persoonlijk heb 2 jaar niet meer gespeeld en ik geraak geen pluim meer kwijt nog niet aan de straatstenen.Maar ja ik heet ook geen jansen en woon ook niet in Arendonk.En stambomen zijn aan mij al helemaal niet besteed het is alsof de duiven niet meer moeten vliegen maar de stambomen. mvg


Dear Pigeon Friends all over the World you may know his name and fame. I have the same and I have his pigeons in home. They are really excellent one in breeding and racing.
We can measure Mr. Janssen but we are enable to measure his fame around the world. I am sad too. Nun of his family members come forward to attend pigeon sports. PIPA DON'T SALE PIGEONS ONLY FROM HIS HOME TAKE SOME OF THEM IN PIPA AUCTION. AT LEAST WE CAN TAKE PART.

Personally I am washing very best for their great effort for modern pigeon sports from Bangladesh and from our club (BRPEL).

Ali Md. Sikender
Dhaka, Bangladesh

I remember the 1st. time I met some of the Janssens at Adriaans funeral in 1981 with my Grandfather and how I felt when I met them. The Janssen Brothers will always be remembered as the Fanciers that kept the sport alive in the sky and in our hearts. My Loft was started from eggs from 019 from Charel Janssen to my Grandfather and the janssen strain will always remain in my loft.I just would like to say Thank You for everything you have done for our sport and that your family will always be remembered as the Best Racing Pigeon Breeders of all time.
RJ and also my Grandfather who is no longer with us but I can still here him say Quality not Quantity!

Sad to hear about the Janssen Bros.The strain of their pigeons have dominated lofts all over the world for years now and will continue to do so for the future. Good Luck from Bangladeshi fanciers and from our club BRPCL.


i just hope i can afford at least one of the birds on the auction.

Has every Sprint Family not have some ''JANSSEN'' in there???? icons and as their stars, imortal.

Truly a sad day for the pigeon sport all over the world, we wish the Janssen family the very best in good health and strength. - Ivan.(Indian Racing Pigeon Association)

I feel so sad to know that the janssen family has stopped but I am happy to know that their name will always live in our birds.

阿连栋克 ,詹森!中国的鸽友会永远记住你!


I helped the old janssens do some work, and put the money in the wells banks



詹森鸽系是我最喜欢、最崇拜的王者,在就要消失的瞬间,留下我最真的祝福,并广交天下鸽友,庞海达 联系电话:15142918057 QQ 176909945 辽宁海达赛鸽网 haidasaige.banzhu.net 邮箱


It was a pleasure and a good luck for my meeting Louis Janssen personally.
The off springs of my tow Janssen cooks made me one of the most successful fanciers in Albania

更新的图片发生严重错误,时间逻辑不客观! Rolling Eyes

从养鸽子起就一直崇敬着伟大的詹森家族,看到这样的消息,只能在这里默默祝福 路易斯。詹森老先生: 健康平安长寿!

Pigeons world no borders, and thank you for the old man have done ,
We all will be remembered Janssen brothers of Arendonk


Met alle respect.....

Maar gezien de verkoop van heden. Heeft het laatste "Janssen icoon" maar drie duiven aan Pipa verstrekt t.b.v. verkoop!?!



De verkoop start maandag 30 april.

Harry, er worden nu inderdaad 3 Janssen duiven verkocht in de huidige veiling, aangeboden door de Ier Sheldon Leonard, zoals het ook duidelijk bij deze verkoop gemeld staat.