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Belgium - Forts, Turbines, Tunnels & Mines - Jan 2015

E

extreme_ironing

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Dropped by 12 sites (and had a good look at a few more) over several days in a bit of a manic trip around Belgium on the weekend past with The_Raw, Wevsky, Obscurity and Monkey. Photography came secondary to actually looking around (!) so I've compressed the images into one post. Also just don't want to spam the board with 12 posts. Also lazy.

Fort de Fl�malle

Built between 1881 and 1884 as a group of 12 forts surrounding Liege, the fort has been attacked (successfully) during both World Wars. We didn't know what to expect from this place as had nothing but a set of coordinates. After getting past the front gate the site seemed to be semi-live, looks like an unsuccessful attempt to commercialise the site as a museum and airsoft range. Some modern signs pointing towards canteens and the like were rusted and falling off their hinges, rubbish from shooting related activities was all over the place and some barriers had been vandalised. The main door to the fort interior was locked tight and we very nearly missed a way inside, when we did move the obstacles out of the way and stepped into a long and narrow corridor I think we were all surprised by how much this place kept giving (or at least I was).

In the end it went downwards 5 levels, and at the lowest of these there were cable tunnels that went on longer than I could really gauge, I'm thinking several hundred feet. There was also what seemed to be a prison at this lowest level and some defensive structures to allow defenders to shoot down the tunnel, at the end of the tunnels a shaft went directly to the surface and we could hear traffic above us which gave some indication to how far they must have travelled since it was pretty rural and quiet directly around the fort.

Looking out through a locked gate.



This is half way down the stupidly long cable tunnel, the path zig zags and a defensive position is put in place to fire down towards the exit.





The shaft going directly upwards 5 levels at the end of the cable tunnel, ladder rungs have all rusted off.



Directions and hallways.





Exterior



Pre-Metro / Unfinished Subway

A poorly planned underground project similar to the one in Antwerp but never built out as much. Presently these tunnels seem to be used as storage for the cities' infrastructure and transport museum. There were some very old vehicles in there and others that were used in years previous. Some form of security system was active down there and we decided not to provoke it too much, further on I understand there to be the foundations for a station.

Possibly the oldest carriage down there, sat next-door to a ticket booth. The wall was bricked up behind this and the tunnel u-turns before going deeper. Some really nice old adverts in there too.



A warning of surveillance and sure enough, some loud beeping further down this tunnel.



Moar tramz.



Tons of boxes full of documents and smaller items, this was laid out before we got here, old wind up route signage I guess.



University Campus

This electrical engineering campus for a University closed in 1977 and students were moved to a more modern spacious site, I've read they're now working on refurbishing it although I'm not sure if it'll still be focussed on it's original subjects. A fire crew pulled up to the building next door alongside 4 fully keyed up people coming into the site during our visit, so I didn't get to see 50% of the place, really nice exteriors as well which are listed.







Old Turbine Hall

A really nice old turbine hall, built in 1912 to support the surrounding industrial complex which was mostly involved in car building and then railway infrastructure. Some of the turbines and compressors are still in place, no idea how packed the hall was once. Seems to be used rarely for events, the rooms round the back were in worse repair than the main hall, open to the elements in places. Lights switched on along with a lot of noise suddenly so we had to scarper shortly after we had enough daylight to photograph the place. ;/









Ruien Powerplant.

Currently being pulled down by a demo team, turbines still mostly intact, the exterior is a bit of a mess and some connecting buildings are half gone. Some workers and forklifts driving through during our short visit, looked quite similar to other ElectraBel plants I've seen although probably the largest turbine hall.









Slate Mine

I can't recall it's real name :/. A mine with a lot of the tracks and carts still in place, was told it was slate although we only saw a small amount of it down there so probably mixed use.









Some other �$%&

Getting a bit too pic heavy now, actually have quite a few more worth sharing. But I'm at the limit, so a few (3) shots of other sites:

Most of what's left at a power plant for the local steel manufacturing industry.



Phone rays.



Wevsky's lunch break.



Spent some quality time at local steel works, blast furnaces etc, 1 mothballed power station and one in black start (everything ticking along), and some very old glassworks which were interesting (esp the live part ;-)).

Thanks Rawski for all the work put into the organisation. And was great to meet Wevsky and Obscurity, fun and manic trip.

Cheers for reading.


 
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Wevsky

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You have some very mint shots there mate..really enjoyed this trip and yoru right you have some uncle sams/hf6 etc to post up or is that a full report?

 
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extreme_ironing

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Well... 30 image limit so I had to stop. :)

Didn't want to make a big noise about it, will probs just post the others on my site, Uncle Sams and the Furnaces were awesome but think they've been covered enough.

 

Wevsky

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Well... 30 image limit so I had to stop. :) Didn't want to make a big noise about it, will probs just post the others on my site, Uncle Sams and the Furnaces were awesome but think they've been covered enough.
hf6 pics are always nice to see form someone elses view point :D

 

skeleton key

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Very cool that and looks like you guys had a cracking road trip.

Also good to see Wevs tucking into the local quizine :p

 
E

extreme_ironing

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Cheers all. :) Yeah I've wanted to see that turbine hall for awhile, real interesting one there..

Great pics, like it very much. Seems to have been a successful tour. :)
Hi Andy - The mine is fantastic and the pics on your website were great, wish I had more lighting equip and time but all I had was a dull torch. ;( Was a nice little trek through the snow to get there and a lot of fun looking around. Cheers. :)

 

The_Raw

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Cool selection of pics there mate, we did good on that trip, and cheers to Andy for helping out with the mine (y)

 

hamtagger

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Overflowing with win this mate (y)

12 places condensed into 30 pics, you done well there! Smash on some more! :)

 

Obscurity

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really nice write up mate and some great pictures (y) . I was going to post here but really couldn't compress everything down to 30 photos haha. Was a good trip and there definitely needs to be a return I think!

 
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