RITTERGUT V

RITTERGUT V

This abandoned mansion was built around 1895 by order of the owner of a nearby weaving mill. Originally established as a summer residence, the country house served several purposes throughout history. For example, at the time of the Third Reich it was a Reich Labor Camp. After the war, the castle was transformed into a school for the training of judges, and later a “pioneer leadership school” was housed in it. In 2018, the beautiful building fell prey to the flames after a fire was started. The entire roof was destroyed. Fortunately, the staircase with the blue stucco ceiling, for which the building is known, was spared. 


OLD RUSTY

OLD RUSTY

Sweet little abandoned car, sitting in the woods somewhere. Couldn’t find out anything whatsoever about where it came from, why it’s there or why doesn’t anyone care for it anymore. Beautiful and sad at the same time…


BIOMASS POWER PLANT

BIOMASS POWER PLANT

Biomass Power Plant was a thermal power plant, built in 1974 and commissioned in 1976. The plant had a total capacity of 556 MWe, which was mainly generated by two steam turbines. These turbines were powered by coal and biomass. In 2012, the operator received an environmental permit to burn 100% biomass. This enabled the plant to claim “green energy certificates”. As a result, the operator could receive a of 2.2 billion euro grant over a 10-year period, but due to problems with the heat exchanger the necessary investments for the conversion were never made. The Flemish Energy Agency rejected the request for postponement, as a result of which the plant loses the grant and is forced to cease activities. Since April 2017, Biomass Power Plant has gone bankrupt and the plant has been shut down. This caused the last coal-fired power station in Belgium to disappear. The already licensed demolition was postponed in 2018 and the power plant was fired up one last time to compensate for the winter energy scarcity. Today, the demolition is in full swing …


ZECHE N1

ZECHE N1

The story of this Zeche (coal mine) starts as early as 1855, but the digging work did not start until 1912. Shortly after the start of production mining was considerably delayed by the outbreak of the First World War. It was not until 1915, fully in the war years, that coal was brought up from a depth of almost 400 meters. Shortly after the war the second shaft was put into use. Along with the other shafts of the mine, in the peak years (1980s), up to nearly 3 million tons of coal were extracted from the earth by more than 4,000 miners … From that time on, however, the success of the mine began to decline. In the early 2000s, the day facilities of shaft 3 were completely dismantled. From 2003 to 2005, the day facilities of Zeche N1 were completely demolished, with the exception of main frames 1 and 2 as well as the machinery (power plant) and the building of the former mine weir, to which the gas extraction system is attached. These must be kept as industrial monuments. The Zeche N4 (of which I will post an album shortly) a little further is still completely preserved.


MULTICOLOR SCHOOL

MULTICOLOR SCHOOL

Large parts of this former monastery of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, founded in 1815, have already been demolished to make way for new buildings. The monastery complex originally included the monastery itself, a semi-public chapel, a nursing home, a kindergarten, a primary school, a secondary school and a public library. The secondary school was transferred to another building and the monastery and nursing home have since been relocated to a new care institution built in the early 1980s. At the end of the 1980s a new monastery for the remaining sisters was built as an extension to this new nursing facility. In this series you can see the part of the school building complex located nearest to the street, the oldest part of which is the primary school, founded in the mid-1860s. At the beginning of the 1920s, the former national household school was added, which later became the primary boys’ school. Judging by the quite advanced decay of the buildings, it is hard to believe that the the property was vacated less than two years ago …


CHAPEL AND MORGUE

CHAPEL AND MORGUE

Construction of this hospital started in the spring of 1905. The official opening was year later. Because of a particularly large number of cases of meningitis in the area, the operations already started a few months earlier, at the beginning of January 1906. At that point the hospital was not yet completed. The hospital later specialized in dermatology, plastic surgery, rheumatology and coloproctology (rectal disorders). Besides that occupational therapy, naturopathy, physiotherapy, pain relief, social services and wound treatment were also offered. In 2011 the majority of the shares were taken over by an investment group. As part of the economic renovation, the hospital was closed and the most recently specialized departments were transferred in July 2013 to a nearby hospital of the same group. The empty building fell partly on the city and partly on the diocese. In the summer of 2014 the building was put into use as emergency accommodation for asylum seekers, but barely one and a half years later the asylum seekers were banned from the hospital. After that it was the intention to demolish part of the hospital and build offices or apartment buildings there and transform the rest of the building into a kindergarten. In November 2018, it was announced that the former hospital would become the construction site of a new residential area. About 350 new apartments will be built on the 45,000 square meter site.


OLD BLUE

OLD BLUE

I am usually not a big fan of exploring abandoned houses, but every once in a while there is something really cool to be found in the barn. In this case we found this beautiful little old timer. A Citroën B14 F Torpedo, produced by Citroën in the late 1920′s. Why is it here? Where is its owner? Why is no one looking after it anymore? I couldn’t tell you… But how much fun would it be taking her out on a sunny Sunday afternoon and just go cruising the country side? 


PRYPJAT MEDICAL

PRYPJAT MEDICAL

The town of Prypjat was founded in 1970 for the employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Before the nuclear disaster in 1986 around 55,000 people, mainly employees of the nuclear power plant, found a home there. After the nuclear disaster, the city was completely evacuated and has remained virtually unaffected since then. Due to its location in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear power plant, Prypjat was hit hard by radioactive fall-out and the area is still under quarantine until today. Although it has now become a tourist attraction, entering the buildings is strictly forbidden due to the danger of collapse.

In the town there was of course an extensive amalgam of medical facilities, known as “MC4-126”, including the hospital, a maternity ward, a center for infectious diseases and also this dental clinic, where the molds for dental prostheses are still in the lab waiting and a wing for childcare …


CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE – ZALISSYA

CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE – ZALISSYA

A first impression … Although one of the more remote villages in the 30 km Exclusion Zone, Zalissya was the first village to be completely evacuated in the aftermath of the accident at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Zalissya was a lively village with around 3200 inhabitants. There was a supermarket, a school, a hospital and a cultural center. Today the village has been completely taken over by nature. Zalissya was dominated by the centrally located cultural palace. The imposing building, with the dominant pillars at the entrance, still shows the traces of a rich past. The high ceilings, the stucco work and the refined finish remind you of a rich past. The red banner with the slogan “Communism is the bright future for humanity” is still displayed above the stage in the concert hall. After the disaster in 1986, the culture palace became a barracks for the soldiers who had to clean up the reactor and the nearby village of Pripyat. 

A few years ago, a former resident, Rozaliya Ivanivna, returned to the village. She lived a hard and isolated life in the deserted village, where, despite the disaster, she wanted to live on her own. She had to provide for her own sustenance. Since her death, her carefully maintained house and garden have been taken over by nature, just like the others. The once lively main street has been transformed from a wide avenue into a narrow forest path, through the ever-advancing forest, which continues unimpeded. Even in winter, there is little to be seen of the once bustling Zalissya…


COOLING TOWER ‘PETITE MAISON’

COOLING TOWER ‘PETITE MAISON’

A power station traditionally has a cooling tower. This particular cooling tower is part of the Blue Power Plant (to be featured in an upcoming post), which is located across the street. It is a smaller model than Cooling Tower IM, but the way it works is exactly the same. Only this one has a mysterious little house (petite maison) in the middle of it. Nobody seems to know why it is there.. The cabin is completely empty and therefore contains no indication of the reason for its presence there. That mystery undoubtedly adds to the charm of the construction. A construction that is not that easy to enter, by the way. The external staircase to the entrance door was removed a few years ago. If you want to admire the inside of the cooling tower and the mysterious little house, you have no choice but to climb the woodwork on the inside…


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