EGLISE DES CAUSES DESESPERES

EGLISE DES CAUSES DESESPERES

The “church of desperate causes” is a truely appropriate ‘urbex’ name for this desecrated church. The building, which was once so important for this small community, is in a very lamentable condition. It was not for naught that it was declared inaccessible by the fire brigade. It feels like you might get some debris  on your head at any give moment. Since 2010 there have been rumors that the church would be demolished, but by mid-2018 it is still deteriorating. The church was built in Romanesque style in 1921 for the ever-growing miners’ population, mainly from Flanders.


GREEN WORLD

GREEN WORLD

This large farm is one of the buildings in a park around a chateau, including the caretaker’s house. It is located within the castle domain, northeast of the castle.  The farm consists of anchored brick buildings under saddle roofs (decorative red and black Flemish tiles), set around an inner courtyard. The farm dates back largely to the fourth quarter of the 19th century. The south wing is formed by beautiful conservatory and aviary, now overgrown by weeds, which gave rise to the pseudonym “Green World”. The chapel that was added to the north wing is much more recent. 

The last photo is an inside view of the separate chapel in the forest to the south of the farm. This was originally the ice cellar. It dates from the fourth quarter of the 19th century and was established as a chapel in the beginning of the 1990′s. The octagonal pavilion of brick and knotty wood stands on a plinth of local iron sandstone. The plastered interior contains recycled neo-Gothic high reliefs from a West Flemish abbey. The stained-glass windows were recuperated from an unspecified demolished Walloon church.


TABULA RASA

TABULA RASA

Although now virtually empty, this stately villa in a large wooded area still breathes the history and the riches of the noble family that had the house built almost a century ago. The villa was built in cottage style in 1928 and is still part of a larger domain, that also contains a chateau and a farm. The house was originally built as a ‘pleasance’ by the son and heir of the owner of the chateau. Even though it hasn’t been lived in for many years, the beautiful villa is still in pristine condition. A few years ago it was the setting for a Belgian television production called ‘Tabula Rasa’. Hence the ‘urbex’ name of the place.


PISCINE BEL AIR

PISCINE BEL AIR

Among urban explorers this place is popular for the beautiful swimming pool that has a certain Greek feel to it. I wasn’t able to find out the exact history of the place, but it looks like it was some kind of private club. Next to the pool, the whole basement was set up as a small bar annex disco. The rest of the house, from the ground level up, was firmly locked. We also found a pretty garden, with two overgrown car wrecks in it and a pretty albeit small pond… All in all a lovely visit.


PAPER CUTTER

PAPER CUTTER

This aircraft, rather unknown to the general public, was built in the Hurel-Dubois factories of Meudon. Only 8 copies were built. Thanks to the specific low-speed flight characteristics, the stability and the long range, the device was especially built for the National Geographic Institute. This specific device, equipped with vertical and oblique cameras, was used to map North Africa and the overseas areas. Cartographers and photographers profited fully from the great stability of the aircraft during the flight. The device has been grounded for some time. A group of enthusiasts is committed to restoring the aircraft and making it airworthy again. Only two copies of this aircraft with a particularly long span (46 meters), which was given the nickname “paper cutter”, and whose specific sound is particularly recognizable for Wright Cyclone star engines, are still operational today.


MANOIR SAINT-GEORGE

MANOIR SAINT-GEORGE

On our way from one location to the next, we made a quick stop at a local supermarket in some or other sleepy French town. From the parking lot we suddenly caught a glimpse of this adorable little manor. It didn’t take us too long to find a way in. Even though the house turned out to be as good as completely empty, I was pleasantly surprised by beautiful natural decay in there with virtually no vandalism. A coincidental find like this has the downside that we don’t know anything about the history of the property. There was no clue as to why the previous occupants would have packed everything up and left… Whatever the reason was, it obviously happened many years ago, judging by the state of the house… 


CHARBONNAGE FT

CHARBONNAGE FT

In terms of Belgian mining industry, this Charbonnage FT was a rather modest coal mine, which was operated for rather a short period of time. In this region coal was already mined from 1755. The French-Belgian company that exploited the mine was established in 1865. It was mined in countless galleries, mostly dug at relatively low depths. Coal was brought up from 1875 to 1935. In 1920, twelve miners died as a result of a gas explosion at the bottom of the mine. From this moment on the activity of the mine started to decline, until in 1929 only one last seat was still exploited. Finally, the mine closed permanently in 1935. At the beginning of the 21st century, the headframes were demolished and only the old buildings remained. Today, after almost 85 years of dilapidation, they are in a particularly bad state. The regional government has taken the necessary steps in recent years to sanatize the site, which is suffering from heavy pollution. Those works will begin soon…

Check out the complete series by clicking THIS LINK, which will take you to the high quality images on Flickr.


HEAVY METAL REVISIT

HEAVY METAL REVISIT

The first time I was here, is more than two years ago. I was in total awe of this huge factory. Over the past two years, copper thieves have wreaked havoc here, dismantling the wiring to retrieve the copper. They must have stolen several tons of copper and other metals by now… As a matter of fact, they were still at it when we were there this time! Luckily they didn’t bother with us too much. They were even galant enough to stay out of our shots. In spite of all the damage, this abandoned steel mill is still easily the most impressive industrial site I have seen so far. If you enjoy rust & dust as much as I do, you’re gonna love this!

Tumblr won’t allow me to attach more than ten photos to one post. So if you would like to see the full set, you can do so by clicking THIS LINK, which will navigate you to the entire album on Flickr.

If you would like to have a look at the photos from the first visit, two years ago, clicking THIS LINK will bring you to the corresponding album on Flickr. The blog post I wrote about the previous visit on Tumblr can be found by clicking THIS LINK.

Enjoy 🙂


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