In May I went to Lake Constance for a Vespa Corso. As the wheather forecast was promising I decided to take the chance for a ride through Baden-Württemberg. Feeling hungry once I realised to be close to the French border. Et voila.. Château Lumière.
No more words neccessary about Château Lumière I suppose.
DSC06840 by Ghost-Scooter, auf Flickr
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Behind the scene:
The chateau is one of the many large abandoned houses that can be found around France. Built in the 1700s by the lord of the village it is within, the house has been modified and expanded over the years.
The vaulted basement contains a full size snooker table below the original arched ceiling. A large stone fireplace is the centre-point of a sitting area to one end of the basement.
The front entrance opens directly to a small stone staircase, leading up to the main living areas which are slightly raised from ground level, or down to the basement.
Visited with @SpiderMonkey
This one is from earlier on in the year during a trip to France/Luxembourg, one I thought worth posting up here!
Chateau Lumiere needs no introduction, a magnificent building with such grandeur its hard to believe its been abandoned. The huge glass skylight allows daylight to illuminate all the floors, making for wonderful lighting. During the last few years Chateau Lumiere become a bit of a tourist destination, with vandals smashing the large mirror in the big foyer. Luckily its fared well over its many years of dereliction and is still one of the most beautiful buildings I have had the pleasure of exploring.
Built in early 1900s, this house was owned by a tobacco tycoon from Switzerland. After the owner moved away in 1950s, the house was used for business purposes, and was sold multiple times before finally being left empty.
There isn't a confirmed date it was abandoned, but the general consensus seems to say its in the 1980s.
After finally finding the location of it and seeing it was a reasonable distance from Luxembourg where were staying for 2 weeks, it became a must do. We found a charming cheap hotel in the next town over and booked a night there.
Finally the day was upon us and were there, stood outside awestruck by the Neo-Baroque styling of Lumiere.
We looked for a way inside and quickly found a well beaten track round the back. As we approached I could hear voices inside.
We definitely weren't the only visitors that day, in fact there were loads of people wondering around inside!
Most other people were explorers like us, however some weren't there to take photos as it turned out a bit later...
We started with the basement and worked upwards. The basement actually had quite a bit of stuff still left there, unlike the rest of the floors that were bare to say the least. In fact the house was almost empty from the ground floor up. All the fittings and fixtures remained, but no personal items were left at all.
We photographed it from nearly every angle we could think of. The best thing about Lumiere is just how photogenic it is. Its hard to take a bad picture.
It was a fairly relaxed explore, until we witnessed a group of 12 year olds smashing the glass skylight and then coming downstairs smashing bricks onto the marble floor. The red-mist descended as I yelled down at them at them from one of the skylight balcony's while waving my arms around like a loony. I must have looked like a madman.
They didn't understand my English, I certainly didn't understand their French. Luckily they didn't stick around much longer to do any more damage.
With the drama over we got back to the explore, now alone in the house.
We spent about 3 hours inside in total, but you could easily spent much longer there if you wanted to photograph everything.
One thing that struck me was the quality of every little detail. Silly things like the latches on the windows still work flawlessly and feels better made and smoother than any modern window latch I've used before.
Anyway, on with the photos.
In the porch there is this notice, translates roughly too:
"Many of us have seen that you like this in all its splendor. Photographers, Models, Fans of Urbex, but some unscrupulous individuals do not respect...Alas!
Yet you are known everywhere for your splendor, and the sublime cliches that you have brought us.
Today April 19, 2015 we owe you this ... to give you a bit of sparkle ... after the vandalism that you have undergone.
Thank you to those who will preserve you forever
Respect this place as you would at home
Do not break! Do not vandalize it..
Do not leave rubbish, paper etc..
Bring your waste back with you.."
The entrance hall and foyer.
Sadly this used to be where the the large mirror was, but was broken in 2015.
A rather interesting choice of wallpaper...
Recent damage to the glass skylight.
Saw this in the loft and couldn't help but get a photo too
Castle Wolvenhof, also known by many as Château Du Loup, was designed by J. Vercoutere and constructed between 1912 and 1914 for the industrialist, Gaspard Vanden Bogaerde. It was one of two castles built in the area. With the outbreak of World War One, Bogaerde and his brother Émile, the owner of the second castle, volunteered to enlist in the Belgian army and they were subsequently sent away to fight. While they were away, German forces commandeered the buildings and the site was converted into a prison camp and a small airfield named Flugplatz Abeele. Towards the end of the war, Castle Wolvenhof sustained a significant amount of damage as much of the wood, including the very expensive floorboards, was torn out and used as firewood. Following the German defeat, the two brothers returned to their properties and spent the next few years renovating them. The Bogaerde families continued to live in the castles long after the Second World War. However, in 1999, both buildings were sold to the city and the grounds were opened as a public park.
Today, although it is a heritage building, Castle Wolvenhof is abandoned. Yet, after someone, presumably the city, invested 322,500 euros in the property in 2016, restoration work has begun. The aim of the project is to bring back the building and return it to its former glory. It is unknown what purpose the building will serve once the restoration work is complete; one source suggests it will remain a central part of the park in which it is situated.
Our Version of Events
Although we’d just returned from New Zealand and had barely set foot on English soil, we decided that a new trip was in order, to make the most of the good summer weather Europe has been experiencing. So, with an epic explore in mind, somewhere along the Maginot Line, we decided to travel through Belgium to reach it. Our decision to visit Belgium was twofold: we could see a few abandoned sites along the way, and drink lots of Belgian beer.
The first stop on our travels, mainly for a quick break after driving from the north east, was the legendary Château Du Loup. Surprisingly, finding it was easier than we’d imagined, and gaining access wasn’t as hard as we’d anticipated. However, no sooner had we stepped inside the building did we set off an alarm. From the inside, though, it didn’t seem to sound too loud, so we decided to crack on and take some snaps anyway. For the next half an hour, then, we raced around the building trying to take a photo of each room. The entire time it felt as though a farmer might turn up, or some kind of Belgian security guard, but, fortunately, neither did. In the end, we were able to leave without further incident.
It was only when we were making our way back outside that we realised how loud the alarm really was. It was clearly attracting quite a bit of attention from the people who were making good use of the surrounding parkland too. At this point, then, we decided to casually join the general public and take a wander around the park. Our blending in seemed to work rather well, other than the fact our French and Flemish skills don’t go much further than ‘Hallo’, ‘Ik ben op zoek naar, John’ and ‘Bonjour’. Still, it was enough to get us back to the cars. After that, our next destination was Bruges, with plenty of time left in the day to drink lots of beer!
Explored with Ford Mayhem, MKD, Rizla Rider, The Hurricane and Husky.