Jump to content
Curious George

Belgium 72 hours in Belgium - July 2015 - Part one.

Recommended Posts

I finally got around to post this report, so here goes: 

 

If you didn't get to see my previous Belgium report, feel free to take a peek: 48 hours in Belgium 2014

 

I wake up in my hotel room in Amsterdam, later I'm going to meet up with @Merryprankster, @The_Raw and a non-member (Jane) in Antwerp, for some kick-ass urban exploration days.

 

I grab a trusty sandwich and make my way to downtown Amsterdam.

It is incredibly hot, hitting around 30 °C and I'm about to catch a train to Antwerp.

 

The entire station is crowded and I can't find my train, which is supposed to depart in a few minutes. I finally find a train conductor who can tell me where to go. I make it to the correct platform, just as the train is rolling in. I get on the train, but just like the station, it's cramped. I literally end up sitting between two peoples luggage – but there's air-condition, so I can't really complain.

 

Two hours and a pair of sore legs later, I'm finally there. The door opens to another train carriage, and it hits me… The stench of the sweat from 15 persons, all mixed together in a hot train-pot and left simmering for a few hours.

I was told that our carriage, was the only one with functioning air-condition and I'm inclined to believe the person who told me that.

 

I make my way through Central Antwerp Station and it's such a beautiful place, if you haven't seen it, google it. And knowing that I would be standing at the top of it all, gave me butterflies in my stomach.

 

I head down to our hotel for the night, where I'm meeting with the rest of the guys.

 

After our greetings and a few necessary ice creams, we make our way to:

 

Château de la Chapelle.

 

As the name might suggest, it's a large residential building. Complete with its own wine cellar and chapel. The size and number of chairs, suggests to me that it was used for weddings or the likes. The were signs of construction and I think it's definitely it's worth saving. A very beautiful building.

 

The entire house is protected by a moat, where I managed to get a VERY wet shoe. I was later reminded of my clumsiness by another Belgian explorer: “I think you're the first one getting wet feet there”.

 

24001022320_764ff4fdb4_c.jpg
1. 

 

23815180213_68b8299898_c.jpg
2. 

 

23928761529_c9f399114c_c.jpg
3.

 

24214075801_2c5973d64b_c.jpg
4.

 

24270426516_77e8100fd6_c.jpg
5.

 

24001015330_c5b9c09a98_c.jpg
6.

 

24296620205_c6878ccc34_c.jpg
7.

 

24270440606_21214a2160_c.jpg
8.
 

24296566115_f2b25b74f0_c.jpg
9. 

 

 24270418066_5aeb911963_c.jpg

10.

 

After trying out another spot and not finding a way in, we head back to Antwerp. A take a quick shower and we head downtown for a copious amount of cheap chips.

 

A big shoutout to The_Raw and The Antwerp crew for getting us up on:

 

Antwerp Central Station

 

The original station building was constructed between 1895 and 1905 and is regarded as one of the finest transportation buildings in Belgium – and I can see why.

 

The station itself has four levels, with three levels for tracks, 14 platforms in use and a shopping center on the fourth level. The station also houses a diamond gallery with more than 30 diamond shops.

 

Most likely a once in a lifetime experience to explore this.

 

 

24270324326_2f5ac0bcf9_c.jpg

11. (The station in the distance)


23669718053_2f824e2a71_c.jpg

12.

 

23668253304_ddce5a3f9c_c.jpg

13. 

 

24270349396_e03c15de69_c.jpg

14. 

 

24296528545_d5f022bd9e_c.jpg

15. 

 

24296516655_2699ff6643_c.jpg

16. 

 

After the exploration, I wasn't feeling too well, so I got our only room key and went home for the night and the others went to explore a few other places.

 

I was awoken early in the morning by a loud banging on the door. I opened the door to a very stern looking The_Raw.

 

When he got home after the explore, I slept right through his door knocking and he therefor went to sleep on the roof of the hotel. Beers were brought as an apology.

 

We made our way to Château Nottebohm.

 

Château Nottebohm is cottage-style manor built in 1908 and it's history is a bit unclear. Some say it was built for the family Nottebohm, who were a very prominent family and known for their work in curing skin diseases, the manor was later occupied during WWII and during the 50's used as a hotel, banquet hall and restaurant. Others claim it was a wealthy German family living in the manor, whom fled during WWII and it was since left to decay.

 

 

23928616979_c5c36db0fe_c.jpg

17.

 

23668216444_efa52005da_c.jpg

18. 

 

23669610063_9883f557a3_c.jpg

19.

 


Stick aroud for Part Two! :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some great shots there dude! Still not happy with my pics from Chateau Chappelle really, cool place though. Wasn't Nottebohm also famous for being the home to composer Brecht or was that somewhere else?

 

:comp: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • By franconiangirl
      At first glance, the huge psychiatry campus with its historical buildings reminds you of certain pieces of literature or films. The early morning haze lies over the hospital grounds and really adds to that somewhat uncanny atmosphere. It´s still pretty early in the morning. Thus, we almost don´t meet any people. A situation, that changed completely on our way back, when we had to keep as insconspicious as possible among patients, nursing stuff and "normal" visitors. Yet, everything´s still pretty calm and we can enjoy the morning silence as we walk across the park-like grounds of the hospital, walking on paths which are bordered by beautiful flowers. Here and there, beautiful buildings appear. Everything occurs to be peaceful and neat. Almost a place for your well-being, at least form the perspective of a non-patient. Not before we pass by a building, fenced up by thick bars, reality sets in. As if by command, we can suddenly hear screams coming out of the building. 

      The hospital is largely still active. Only a small part has been disused out of unknown reasons. It seems like time´s been standing still here for a pretty long time. Old benches would´ve been disappeared in a jungle-like thicket entirely, if it wasn´t for their bright red colours. Across an architectural more than beautiful patio we enter the building in front of us. Inside, particularly striking are the numerous toys scattred around the building. What exact purpose the old building served remains a mystery. 
       

       

       

       

       

       

    • By WildBoyz
      History

      Château D’ah was constructed at some point in the mid-nineteenth century. For many years, it was owned by an aristocratic family, before it became, for a short time at least, a small apostolic school (part of the Apostolic Church). The school closed shortly after the outbreak of World War Two, leaving the house abandoned for a period of time. Somehow, it survived the heavy bombardment of the German invasion, while the town around it crumbled. It is not known who purchased or occupied the château after the war ended. 

      By the later 1950s, the château was purchased by Rémy Magermans, a famous printer and photographer. Magermans founded his company in the late 1940s and moved into the property as his business expanded. As the château comprised a large amount of land, he was able to construct a printing workshop next door to the manor. Magermans owned the building until he passed away in 2009. Since becoming vacant, many people, including photographers, artists and vandals, have visited the site and it has gradually deteriorated.

      Our Version of Events

      After a good session in Brussels, sampling the fine beer of Belgium, we set off in the direction of Luxembourg. Our grand aim was to find an incredibly large underground fortress, but since that entailed a fair bit of driving we figured we might as well check out a few abandoned châteaus along the way. Château D’ah took our fancy because we’d seen some shots of the main downstairs corridor and a very striking staircase. In hindsight, though, if we’d known how fucked the place was going to be, we probably would have given this place a miss and checked out a couple of other locations we had on our list. 

      In terms of gaining access to the site, it was incredibly easy. Vandals have seen to it that anyone can waltz inside these days. Once inside then, we were initially very disappointed. All of the decorative wall paper was ruined, the staircase has been trashed and is rapidly becoming heavily decayed, and everything else around us has been smashed to pieces. Upstairs, things were even worse. Our advice to anyone planning a visit here would be to skip these floors. Other than the reasonably good view from the roof, it’s a complete waste of time going up there. However, there was one really good part to this explore, and it was the reason we decided to post the report. 

      To be perfectly honest, we stumbled across the basement by accident. It turns out that a group of sleep-deprived explorers with severe hangovers aren’t the most observant, so it’s a wonder one of us actually discovered it. Anyway, after noticing it we staggered our way down the stone steps to the bottom. Having only expected to find one room down there, we were pleasantly surprised that there were several rooms and a strange brick corridor. In the end, we spent longer down there than the château itself. We found it was quite photogenic.

      Explored with Ford Mayhem, MKD, Rizla Rider, The Hurricane and Husky. 
       
      1:
       

       
      2:
       

       
      3:
       

       
      4:
       

       
      5:
       

       
      6:
       

       
      7:
       

       
      8:
       

       
      9:
       

       
      10:
       

       
      11:
       

       
      12:
       

       
      13:
       

       
      14:
       

       
      15:
       

       
      16:
       

       
      17:
       

       
      18:
       

       
      19:
       

       
      20:
       

       
      21:
       

       
      22:
       

       
      23:
       

       
      24:
       

       
      25:
       

       
      26:
       

    • By prettypeculiar
      An abandoned house along a Belgian road. The house was partly destroyed by a fire and the former owner now resides with family. Some family member comes by occasionaly to feed the stray cats. 
       
      1.

       
       
      2.

       
       
      3.

       
       
      4.

       
      5.

       
      6.

       
      7.

       
      8.

       
      9.

    • By prettypeculiar
      This complex was built in the late 70's as the faculty of science and biology of a renowned university. It is located in a quiet, residential area surrounded by a large park. Due to the  architecture, the buildings are a bit futuristic and out of place here . It gets even more interesting when you find the greenhouses where a group of 'highly motivated' researchers may have spent a lot of hours amidst  their plants in the company of pizza and distilled water. The buildings were abandoned after being in use for only  30 years. Not because of structural problems,  the university had  simply become  too small, as the courses gained popularity.  So the students moved to a larger and newer building closer to the other faculties. 
       
      1.

       
      2.

       
      3.

       
      4. how panda's are made ...
       

       
       
      5.

       
      6.

       
      7.

       
      8.

       
      9.

    • By WildBoyz
      History

      The village of Doel is said to date back to 1267. It was originally known as ‘De Doolen’ (‘border water’) and up until the eighteenth century it was essentially an island surrounded by flooded plains. For many years, due to its unusual geographical location, it was unclear which country Doel actually belonged to – whether it was the region controlled by Spain or the independent State of the Netherlands. 

      The design of the village that exists today has been dated back to the Eighty Years War (somewhere between 1568 and 1648) and it remains largely unchanged; it is completely surrounded by old seawalls and has been built according to a checkerboard pattern (the village consists of three streets parallel to the riverfront, four streets perpendicular to those, and all of it criss-crossed with alleys and small corridors). Doel also boasts many historical buildings. Some of these include Belgium’s oldest stone windmill (which is not abandoned), Reynard Farm, the Old Hoefyzer (a farmstead and inn site), and the Baroque Hooghuis that once belonged to the family of seventeenth-century artist, Pieter Paul Rubens.

      However, despite its obvious historical significance, just before the turn of the millennium the Belgian government announced that Doel was destined to be demolished to make way for the enlargement of the Port of Antwerp. All the residents in the village were offered cash premiums to sell-up voluntarily, and they were encouraged to take up the offer by being told that any refusal would lead to expropriation and the offer of much less money. As a result, by 2007 there were fewer than three-hundred and fifty people left in the village – a reduction from approximately one thousand three-hundred. 

      In an effort to save the village, plans were launched to open the site as an open-air museum, with various famous artists painting murals to deliver the message: ‘Don’t take our village away.’ Nevertheless, other artists were soon attracted to the site and began to use the buildings as canvases for their own work. Now, only a few buildings remain free of graffiti; these are the homes of the last residents in Doel. They are the villagers who have shown resilience against the government and, despite facing attacks by squads of riot police, which has resulted in the streets being strewn with rubble and the start of some of the demolition work, they continue in their effort to save the village and their homes. Even with their efforts, though, these defiant individuals are acutely aware that the gradual deterioration and destruction of the village only strengthens the likelihood that the port will, in the very end, win. The only good news to emerge is that, in response to the imminent outcome, plans have emerged to dismantle and rebuild, brick by brick, some of the historic sites in a neighbouring town. This is to ensure they are preserved for the enjoyment and education of future generations. 

      Our Version of Events

      On our mission to consume lots of good beer, we left Bruges and set off in the direction of Antwerp. However, just over an hour later we found that we were almost upon the great city. We’d neglected to take into consideration how small Belgium is so we had a bit of spare time to kill before it was time to get pissed all over again. To break up the drinking and sober up a bit, then, we decided to go take a quick look at the [mostly] abandoned village of Doel we’d read about some time ago.

      Finding the place was easy. We simply drove in the direction of the great big nuclear power plant that towers over everything within its vicinity. What is more, with few residents still living in the village itself, there was no dodging and diving to get onsite. Instead, we simply drove straight into the heart of Doel. 

      It felt very strange to be driving along streets that seemed completely abandoned. There was nothing especially spectacular about the place given that most of the buildings are simply empty shells and homes, but there was still something rather cool about the whole experience. The best bit, of course, was being able to find a parking spot right in the middle of the explore. That never happens! 

      All in all, it didn’t take long to walk around the place. We had a bit of a mooch down every street, and peeked inside a fair few of the buildings. But, as we quickly discovered, there’s very little left inside any of the structures. The only interesting thing we found in one of the houses was a small kitten and around twenty dishes of rotten food. Unfortunately, the cat bolted as soon as we entered the building, so there wasn’t much we could do to try and save it. We didn’t have anything edible on us to lure it back either, only strong Belgian beer. 

      Explored with Ford Mayhem, MKD, Rizla Rider, The Hurricane and Husky. 
       
      1:
       

       
      2:
       

       
      3:
       

       
      4:
       

       
      5:
       

       
      6:
       

       
      7:
       

       
      8:
       

       
      9:
       

       
      10:
       

       
      11:
       

       
      12:
       

       
      13:
       

       
      14:
       

       
      15:
       

       
      16:
       

       
      17:
       

       
      18:
       

       
      19:
       

       
      20:
       

       
      21:
       

       
      22:
       

       
      23:
       

       
      24:
       

       
      25:
       

       
      26:
       



Disclaimer

Oblivion State exists as an online forum to allow like minded individuals to share their experiences of Urban Exploration. We do not condone breaking and entering or other criminal activity and advise all members to read the FAQ articles about the forum and urban exploring in general. All posts are the responsibility of the original poster and all images remain copyright to the original photographer.

We would just like to thank

Forum user AndyK! from Behind Closed Doors for our rather excellent new logo.

All of our fantastic team of Moderators who volunteer their time to keep this place running smoothly.

All of our members for continuing to support Oblivion State by posting up the most awesome content. Thank you everyone!
×