It's been a while since our small Belgium/Luxembuorg/France-Roadtrip in September, but now I finally had the time to recall this one and edit some of the images.
As I'm totally new to photography, I would be very delighted to hear your opinion on the photos and processing! (:
1st day:Usine Barbele
The entrance was quite easy. The place where the hole in the fence should be seemed to have been closed a few times already; but everytime a new hole was opened just a few steps further. Arriving at the heart of the plant, we quickly made our way up to the rows of coking furnaces.
It was a rather dark day, clouds hanging heavily in the sky, and we stopped many times when some loose parts made loud crashing noises, moved by the wind. We did not feel comfortable here, it seemed like we were not welcome.
After taking some portraits at the big fans, my girlfriend told me she was hearing engine sounds, and we decided to rush into a small cabin at the side of the road and hide. And really, she was right: A black Dacia made its way slowly around the plant, passing the shed where we were hiding. We heard it stopping somewhere, opening and closing it's doors again, and we were in complete agreement we should leave this place as fast as posible. Hiding behind everything we found, we fled along the side of the way, stopping and quietly peeking back every now and then.
2nd day: HFB
We decided to be quick with this one when thinking back to the day before. We made our way to the blast
furnace, took some photos and left again. We'll have a look at the rest of the site on our tour in march.
ET Phone Home
I found this one online just the day before, and after a short research, I had the coordinates. After having a
stop at a small park to have a look at a sculpture we wanted to see, we quickly headed over the fields
toward this one. We arrived at sunset, and after strolling through high grass and climbing the small fence,
we stood in the middle of those antennas. I really liked the view, but I'm not at all pleased with the
pictures I made. Maybe we'll repeat that one someday.
3rd day: Diesel Power Plant
Not much to say. The door that was said to be open was closed again, so we moved on to the sea and did
not any exploration that day.
4th day: Salle des Compresseurs
We made our way in from the west. According to the parts we found in this wasteland, it used to be some kind of power station. There are also some basement structures where you can still find some electrical gear.
The compressor house was a nice little place - nice machines looking like ducks, rust, peeling paint, plants. Beautiful.
5th day: Power Plant X
The access to this one was said to be "a bit dirty", but i really enjoyed it. We took some shots in the boiler room and moved on to the pumping room in the next building.
Sadly we didn't get to see the big hall with the gas motors as renovation work was going on - the space was lit up like a soccer field and plastic sheets were covering windows and machines. Let's hope it gets well preserved for the posterity so they can enjoy that view too!
This one was easy. We heard stories of police driving around and were careful, but luckily nothing happened. The place isn't as impressive as HFB or Usine Barbele and in a quite bad shape, but there were some nice perspectives.
It was raining cats and dogs, so we didn't have much time to shoot the nice reflections.
That's it for now. There aren't so much images as we also did a bit of sightseeing and I sorted out a bunch that I didn't like or weren't able to process to the point where I could post them with a good feeling Hope you still like them!
If you like to see some (but that's not THAT much) more images, you can hit up my flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/152392524@N08/albums
We'll do another tour in March (Be, Lux, Fr, Es, It, Ch) and hopefully we'll come back with more pictures. Maybe I'll also add some of my older images.
And of course, thanks a lot to the people that helped me with the locations and confirmed my researched coordinates - it's really nice to know how to get in and somebody has been there recently. I won't publish the names here so that you don't get flooded with requests, I hope that's ok. You rock!
best wishes from Germany,
In the silos of the blast furnace Terre Rouge, iron ore and lime was stored, mixed and then burned in the blast furnaces. The gases were used to power the nearby thermal power plant "Central Thermique", which was built in 1951 and closed in 1997. The power plant is currently being demolished.
Visited with @The_Raw, @extreme_ironing & @Maniac.
Ouvrage Latiremont is a gros ouvrage (large work) of the Maginot Line – a line of concrete fortifications, obstacles and weapon installations built by France in the 1930s to deter invasion by Germany. The site of Ouvrage Latiremont was selected and approved by the Commission d’Organisation des Régions Fortifiées (CORF) in 1931. It cost eighty-eight million francs (approximately twelve million in pound sterling) to construct the fortification. The design of Ouvrage Latiremont is known as a casemate fortress – a fortified or armoured structure, also referred to as a vaulted chamber, from which guns are fired. Once completed, 75mm and 81mm guns were installed and a second phase was planned, to add additional 75mm and 135mm gun turret blocks. However, the second phase of the development never went ahead as the funding was allocated elsewhere.
Latiremont has two main entrances and six combat blocks (three infantry blocks and three artillery). It also comprises more than five kilometres of underground tunnels and galleries; these are at an average depth of thirty metres. A small narrow-gauge railway system, which was connected to a regional military railway system, once linked all six sections of the fortress and it was used to transport supplies, such as equipment, food and ammunition. There were said to be several stations inside Latiremont which were large enough to service and store large trains. Once fully operational, Latiremont was placed under the command of Commandant Pophillat. Pophillat had twenty-one officers and five-hundred and eighty men of the 149th Fortress Infantry Regiment at his disposal.
Following the 1939 invasion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Thereafter, between the September 1939 and June 1940, Latiremont fired over 14,4 52 75mm rounds and 4,234 81mm rounds at German forces. The fortress, though, was not directly attacked until June 1940. On the 21st June 1940, the German 161st Division led by Colonel Gerhard Wilck, which brought 210mm howitzers and 305mm siege mortars with them, launched their attack against Latiremont. While the attack was underway, a small number of German units moved to the rear of the Maginot Line where they were able to cut power and communications. Despite heavy resistant from Latiremont and nearby fortress Fermont, firing ceased on 25th June and both garrisons surrendered to the German forces on 27th June. For the remainder of the war, the area was used for a German propaganda film, to document the June 1940 attacks, but it did not see any further significant fighting.
In 1951 the French government attempted to restore many of the northeastern ouvrages, to defend against a potential advance by the Warsaw Pact. However, following the establishment of the French Nuclear Strike Force, the importance of the Maginot Line diminished. Latiremont was subsequently abandoned by the military in 1967. Today, the fortress remains abandoned and has suffered heavily from water ingress.
Our Version of Events
Aside from drinking beer, this explore was our reason for being on the other side of the English Channel. We weren’t certain at all if the place would be doable, but after reading about it we decided it was probably worth the risk. Nonetheless, towards the end of our trip there was a sudden drop in team morale. This resulted in us taking a vote in an Aldi car park, over French bread and Biscoff, on whether or not we should crack on and drive for three more hours to reach Latiremont, or turn tail and check out a few old manors as we headed back to the ferry terminus. With the votes all in and tucked nicely into a hat, we made a short ceremony out of revealing the results. In the end, the remainers won, four to two, so there would be no leaving Europe just yet.
We finished off our Biscoff and spent our remaining Euros on food in Aldi before we set off for Latiremont. Our combined wealth got us a couple of tins of beans, a box of mushrooms and some spices to sprinkle on top. Someone did offer to buy our car in the car park after we got the supplies in, but we had to insist we really needed it to get home to England. The potential buyer still didn’t seem to see that as a problem though. It was quite a mission to shake him.
The drive over to the border of Luxembourg was very pleasant. We played some banging tunes and arrived at the location with plenty of time to spare. At first, we had anticipated that finding the fortress in the forest would be quite a challenge, but as it turned out we stumbled across it within ten minutes of being there. Gaining access to the gros ouvrage was a little more tricky of course – it is a military fortress after all!
Once inside, we found ourselves in a standard-looking bunker. There were signs and evidence that guns had been positioned in here, and at first we thought that was that. Most bunkers we’ve entered have been fairly compact and bare, and you can usually get through all the rooms very quickly. Our minds were blown, then, when we discovered a lift shaft and, after peering down to see how high it was, realised we couldn’t see the bottom. Obviously extremely excited at the point, at the prospect the place was going to be absolutely huge, we began to make our way down a staircase next to the lift shaft.
We made our way down the steps, which went on for a long, long time, until we reached the bottom where we found ourselves in a cold tunnel surrounded by enormous blast doors. It was at this point we realised we’d underestimated how big this place really is. For the next few hours, then, we made our way through different snaking tunnels, and explored many side rooms and chambers leading off from them. One of the best parts of the explore that we came across was some sort of old gun turret. There were plenty of others things to see as well though. This place was certainly a bit of a time capsule. The only problem, however, was that we started to lose track of where we were inside the fortress. It’s very easy to get lost in the labyrinth-like corridors and rooms and we’d eaten all the bread earlier in the day, so making a breadcrumb trail had been out of the question. Eventually, we felt as though we were well and truly lost so decided it was time to find a way back to the surface. It took a little while, and a few false turns, before we found a tunnel that sort of looked familiar. We followed it and, thankfully, ended up back where we started.
All in all, then, this explore was absolutely fantastic – certainly one of the best military fortifications we’ve ever explored. It’s also steeped in interesting history about the war. Anyone who happens to find themselves near Luxembourg should definitely pay this place a visit. You never know your luck after all, you might find a way inside like we did.
Explored with Ford Mayhem, MKD, Rizla Rider, The Hurricane and Husky.
These two old power stations sit on the edge of a live steelworks site. There is some really impressive old industry to see here, including a massive old gas engine hall which still contains one huge engine, which was actually the biggest of its kind in the world.
All that's left of the other smaller power station are the boilers and a couple of small control rooms, no turbines But it's still impressive to see some dated industry.
Visited with @AndyK! and Kriegaffe9.
The first building we entered was the smaller station:
After a while walking around on giant suspended pipes and through asbestos we find this compressor room:
Gas engine hall:
One of two more modern turbines inside the hall:
I've visit this sort of farmhouse at the end of last year. During a little vacation in Luxembourg I had the change to take a look at this place.
I'm suprised that there is no other topic about this one on os.
On the outside it looked a bit scary, hidden by trees and bushes. On the inside there are some nice spots to see. I especially loved the bedroom upstairs.
In the barn are a few cars, but on my way out I've found another car, a classic one, hidden in a kind of cave lol.
Here's a selection of some pictures I've made, more you can find on my flickr.