ue photography

10

GREEN SCHOOL

The history of this college goes back to the middle of the nineteenth century. As an answer to the severe lack of decent and affordable education in the city, this catholic entrepreneur and landowner started a school in 1862 inside existing buildings that were formerly used as industrial spaces. In 1868 he donated the property to the nearby diocese. During the next year, the school was expanded with a teachers residence. Between 1881 and 1883 all of the existing building, including the teachers residence, were demolished and form 1883 onward a new school was built in neogothic style. The building of this new school was largely funded by the former owner of the property. Originally the institution was a secondary school that also provided in agricultural education. By the beginning of the 1960’s the secondary school moved into new buildings and this school only remained in use for the primary school. After a merge with other schools at the beginning of the millennium all of the buildings were vacated. In 2016 the chapel was destroyed by a raging fire.

9

CHATEAU DE BRUMAGNE

Chateau de Brumagne was built halfway the 18th century in classicist style. Characteristic for this style is the rather sober appearance on the outside, which is countered by the sophisticated finishings on the inside. A consuming fire in 2001 destroyed most of this finishing. The oak panelling in several rooms was burnt to a cinder and the wallpaintings by Piat Sauvage were washed away by the subsequent extinguishing waters. The beautiful, detailed stucco by the famous Moretti brothers, dating back to 1760, however is still visible under the fire damage. The castle that was owned by several big names in Belgium’s political history, was also a favourite refuge for the late King Albert I and his wife Queen Elisabeth. During the interbellum they stayed here on multiple occasions. The king, a passionate rock climber, fell to his death in 1934 in the vicinity of this castle.

6

THE COLONY

The history of this institution goes back to the days of Napoleon, who appointed the castle as the beggars colony for this region. Such a colony harboured the people living in the streets, who didn’t have any means of existance. In 1826 there were 236 people in this colony, most of which were incapable of working in the fields. They were ‘blind, senseless, paralysed, deformed, deaf, exhausted, or suffered from consumption, epilepsy or vomited blood’. The colony was a village within the village: all the necessary crafts were there. There was a farm and there was even an own fire department. As of 1920 the institution was reformed into an insane asylum, which continued functioning as an independent community. Shortly after this reform a substantial renovation took place to meet the new needs towards nursing. The asylum sheltered the less severe cases of insanity. In fact there was not a lot of treatment involved… Halfway the 1960’s the institution got too small and a new building was necessary. The move started mid 70’s and lasted until the end of the 80’s. Some of the building that were vacated got repurposed. The castle is under renovation, but the asylum itself is still in a state of decay. At the time of my visit it had just been used for a wedding ceremony and the decoration hadn’t been taken down yet, which resulted in a few fancy pictures…

10

HOTEL AU PARADIS

This hotel annex restaurant was founded in 1979 and quickly built a strong name and reputation for itself, which resulted in a much coveted star in the Michelin guide. It managed to keep this star until 2012. In 2011 the founder left the by now reputable business to his son in law, who was also a chef and his daughter, who took over the service in the restaurant. In 2013 the restarurant hotel suddenly closed its door for no apparent reason, which quickly started rumours about bankrupcy and even suicide of the proprietor. A short while later however, just as suddenly as he had disappeared, the propietor resurfaced. His son in law had accepted an offer from a three star restaurant in France and had left Hotel au Paradis together with his wife. The proprietor  needed some time to digest this blow and to rewrite the menu. Shortly after that things took a turn for the worse. The hotel had gotten itself into a substantial debt, for which there was no solution to be found. In 2013 Hotel au Paradis was declared bankrupt. The contents of the hotel and restaurant were auctioned publically, but no buyer was found for the buildings and the estate itself. Since then things have gotten increasingly worse. Burglary, theft and vandalism have left the former reputable business in a dilapidated state

10

USINE JUSTICE

This is one of those places I really can’t tell you anything about… From what I gather this warehouse was left to rot due to family issues over the inheritance. One of the heirs, a lawyer, lives next to the warehouse, which is what inspired the name. I had to cut my visit short, because I was rudely interrupted by the owners, who apparently still use parts of the buildings for storage. I barely managed to escape without getting caught. Still, I feel like I had seen pretty much all there was to be seen here…