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Kent school (Germany)

Kent School is also known as Sint Josefsheim. The names reveal a piece of the turbulent history of the building. In 1909 the construction of the Sint Joseph Monastery started, and after four years the construction was complete.

The buildings functioned as a monastery for only a few years: around 1937 the brothers left because of the upcomg Nazi regime, which took it over and used it as a hospital. During the Second World War this place had a dark side.

After this war the whole site got into British hands. During this first years the monastery continued to serve as a hospital, until it was transformed in 1963 to a school and boarding school for children of British soldiers. However – at the end of the cold war – the soldiers disappeared from Germany and the buildings got abandoned (and available for legal paying visits in the last few years).

Apparently there’s a new hospital planned now on the site.

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Swamp hotel (Belgium

About 50 years ago there were plans to construct a gigantic hotel of 19 floors high, next to a big park.

The construction works were started and the ground floor – with a pool – was soon finished.

While building the first floor, it was however discovered that everything was happening on marshy ground.

Since then this unfinished hotel – with only two of the 19 planned floors – has been left abandoned.

In the meanwhile there are even trees growing inside, and is nature taking over.

That’s why the hotel is totally invisible to visitors of the park.

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Hangar JL (Belgium)

These are a few sheds with adjacent buildings on an abandoned business park. Apparently there are homeless or junkies sleeping there since we saw some mattresses that lay there.

No other information found about this place.

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Metro line C

This is an almost completely finished tram line, between a certain city center and a suburb, that was never taken into operation.

This line (also called ‘centenaire’) winds through numerous workers’ districts and past recently built residential blocks, but its usefulness has never seen anyone from the local residents.

The whole area is served by numerous bus lines, so the need to step on a subway was very small from the start.

Since there has never been a tram along the platforms, the pick-up points have never seen a traveler.

The steel gates of the stations remain closed until today and only constitute an exquisite canvas for graffiti painters.

The entire route is shielded from curious people and neighbors as much as possible, but here and there you can witness the abandoned stops and take a walk in the trambed that is starting to look more and more like a city jungle.

During the 1970s and 1980s the crisis hit mercilessly in the area and the money dried up so that only a very few metro lines in the city could be taken in use.

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Sanatorium du basil (Belgium)

This sanatorium was built in 1900 by the director of a bacteriological laboratory to take care of tuberculosis patients. Patients started living there in 1903.

At that time there was no treatment for tuberculosis. It was one of the first institutions that were built in Belgium.

In the 1950s, new cases of tuberculosis reduced due to the use of antibiotics. Most institutions closed in the 60s and 70s or sought a different target group.

Due to the air pollution caused by the reconstruction after the Second World War (coke factories, blast furnaces, …) there were many children with asthma, and the remaining centers specialized in their treatment.

After the sanatorium era, the building was used for a while as a rest and nursing home, and in the period 2010 to 2012 also as center for immigrants.

Due to the enormous costs, including heating, it was closed in 2013. Since then it’s been left abandoned.

This imposing building with a length of about 150 meters is built on a clearing in the forest at an altitude of 420 meters. It is oriented towards the south for optimal use of light sun and heat and the architecture refers to the grandeur of German spa hotels.

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IM cooling tower (Belgium)

Power plant IM was originally built in 1921 and when it was finished, it was one of the largest coal-burning power plants in Belgium.

Water would be let into the cooling tower where it would be cooled by the wind that swept in from portals in the base of the tower, releasing billowing columns of hot air.

By 1977 the power plant and its massive tower was the main source of energy in the area and is said to have been able to cool down 480,000 gallons of water per minute.

After years of service, a report found that this power plant was responsible for 10% of the total CO2 emissions in Belgium. Due to this, protests from Greenpeace in 2006 gave the power plant a lot of negative attention and it closed in 2007.

The power plant still lies abandoned and is said to be scheduled for demolition, but until that time it continues to stand as a popular location for urban explorers.

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Hasard cheratte (Belgium)

The first shaft of this coalmine was dug in 1850. After an accident in 1877, the mine closed for the first time.

It was reopened thirty years later, in 1907, to remain in operation until 1977.

After the closure, the coal laundry and shaft 2 of the mine were demolished in 1980.

However, after these demolition works, people wondered whether anything should be kept. Shaft 1 was then designated as a monument and the remnants of the mine came into the hands of another owner, who wanted to keep the mine as complete as possible.

However, it died in 2012, after which the mine again came into the hands of the municipality. In the beginning of the 21st century, the ruins of the mine buildings remained.

Remediation of the site and the demolition of a number of buildings started in February 2017 by order of the municipality.

Only shaft 1 with all buildings connected with it, and the bridge over the road, are spared and will be restored.

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