When we reached this place it was bitter cold and it had just begun to snow. We fought through the forest and were thrilled by this sight. It has been over 100 years since this transport ramp was built for a mine. Probably thousands of tons of rock were extracted from the mountain.
Today there is nothing left of the mine. Only this monumental building can no longer be reconstructed and therefore remains alone and deserted in the forest.
This thing had been stubborn. It took us three attempts to get all the footage we wanted. On the first try, we couldn’t even get in and unsuccessfully crawled through the shrubbery looking for a hole in the fence. On the second try, we found a way inside but soon had to run from retirees on a leisure walk. So we needed a third attempt to get the shots from the outside. Overall we’ve been working on this report for two years.
This factory was founded in 1826 on the grounds of a former Cistercian
abbey, that goes back to the 13th century. At the end of the 18th century the
abbey was desecrated. The crystal factory was founded 30 years later. The
chapter hall and the scriptorium were renovated and are still in use to this
day. With the participation at the World Fair in Antwerp in 1894 with the “Vase
of the Nine Provinces” Val-Saint-Lambert became a household name world wide.
The vast majority of the production was exported. Val-Saint-Lambert had wealthy
customers all over the world. The Russion Czar family among them.
At its centennial in 1926 the factory employed over 5000
At the time of my visit to the part of the factory that had already been
abandoned for several years, the remediation of the grounds had already started
and large parts of the factory had been demolished. Other than the small
storage building, there was not much left. This building had decayed
beatifully, which made it a nice, albeit short explore…
With the ground floor pitch black and the flashlight in the car (*sigh*) we have to resort to the good old “Take a picture with flash and look at it on camera to determine what’s even going on” instead of actually entering the room. Which is a shame, since there’s probably a lot more waiting to be discovered (Exhibit One: The door in the left background. Yet another room we didn’t enter.)
This spacecraft like contraption is in fact a ‘gasholder’. A gasholder (sometimes called a ‘gasometer’) is a huge storage tank, used to contain natural gas or light gas under near atmospheric pressure and ambient temperatures. In the first half of the twentieth century it was quite a common structure. Gasholders were typically cylindric in shape and made of iron. The volume of the tank could be adjusted according to the amount of gas in the tank. After the introduction of city gas, the use of these gasholders was slowly faded out. After that they were usually used for balancing the pressure in pipes. The pressure inside the tank was controlled by a container that could move telescopically up and down. Within the tank the gas was sealed by water in a system of communicating vessels.
To get to the bottom of the tank, I had to climb down a ridiculously steep and scary ladder. The things I do to show you guys a couple of pictures… I hope you’ll enjoy watching them as much I enjoyed making them… :)