Abandoned cattle food factory dating back to 1930. In 1971, a company takeover took place and in the years to come, the new owner took over even more factories in the region. When the factory grounds were sold to a project developer, this factory became abandoned and will eventually be demolished, making place for future residential projects.
These enormous mechanical monsters were used to excavate the lakes that they are nowadays parked next to. The Tagebau bagger (opencast mining) – machines measure up to 100 meters in length and weigh up to 2000 tons. After years of exploiting the surrounding territory they found their peace, functioning as colossal – yet silent – landmarks, commemorating the region’s mining past.
When in 1842 François Scheppers left his trade house in Brussels to build a modern factory in Lot, a quaint village near the Belgian capital, it kick-started a migration wave, which led to a substantial growth of the little village. The hundreds of workers who had become unemployed when the construction of the Fort of Steendorp was completed now moved to Lot to work in Scheppers’ Société anonyme de Loth pour la Filature et la Fabricaton de Tissus de Laines Peignées. Scheppers built his textile factory right in the middle of the railway, the river Zenne and the canal Brussels-Charleroi. This prime location allowed him to make abundant use of the natural resources in the manufacturing process (e.g. the water from the river for textile cleaning) and also facilitated the transportation of the produced goods. In the following years, the factory blossomed and Scheppers was named a member of the prestigious Orde van Leopold I for the leading role that he played in the industrialization of the country. In its final years, the Société anonyme de Loth changed its name to Cartonnex. This new name unfortunately did not bring salvation. Cartonnex underwent the same fate that many Belgian textile factories succumbed to in this period; unable to compete with cheap foreign labour markets, the factory was forced to close its doors. Recently, large parts of the factory have been demolished while other parts are being reconverted.
The original starch company HH was founded in the 19th century, producing wheat starch, wheat starch powder and starch adhesive. In the early 20th century (around World War II) the factory moved to this location in the North-western part of Germany as their former site did not allow for an expansion of the factory. In 1991, HH factory closed its doors.
The abandoned iron ore silos of the ARBED Terres Rouges (meaning ‘red soil’) steel production complex in Luxembourg. The silos were used to collect the raw iron ore rocks and minerals from the nearby ore mines and distribute them over the furnaces. As early as 1870 the Brasseur-Schulz factory was built on the Terres Rouges grounds. Two years later, in 1872 the first furnace was heated and by 1899 the company counted no less than 5 furnaces. Over the course of the following years, the Brasseur-Schulz company changed hands several times, becoming part of the Aachener-Hütten-Aktienverein in 1892, the Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks Aktiengesellschaft in 1907, the Société Metallurgiques des Terres Rouges in 1919 and later on ARBED (Aciéries Réunies de Burbach-Eich-Dudelange). When the last furnace was shut down in 1997, the whole ARBED Terres Rouges complex became obsolete.
Abandoned slate quarry with a depth of approximately 170 meters. In its heydays the quarry produced more than 1 million high quality dark grey slates annually. Rumour has it that the quarry had to close in the 1980s after an accident occurred in one of the 7 underground levels. Luckily none of the workers was present in the mine chamber when this incident took place.
What started as a small iron works, built by Köln-based engineer Julius Buch in 1873, later became one of Europe’s largest steelworks after it was acquired by the Rüchling family in 1882. The first blast furnace was built in 1883, and four more were added in the course of the next 10 years. By 1903, when the sixth furnace was built, a giant coking plant had arisen on the site. In the 1930s, the iron works further expanded, when a large ore sintering plant was added. The steelworks played an important role in the field of research and development as many new techniques were first implemented in Hütte V. The plant thus functioned as a model for many other steelworks around the globe until it had to shut down in 1986.
Although the SMTR liquid oxygen storage buildings were part of the Luxembourg ARBED Terres Rouges steel production complex, they were built just across the border, in France, in 1937. Initially a part of SMTR (Société Metalurgiques des Terres Rouges) these liquid oxygen storage buildings later became part of ARBED (Aciéries Réunies de Burbach-Eich-Dudelange) when the company changed hands. When the last furnace of the Terres Rouges complex shut down in 1997, the ‘centrale d’oxygene liquide’ was abandoned.
Around 1850, this brand new textile factory was built next to the river in this quaint little village in the German rural hinterland. After a few years, it changed hands and was transformed into a paper factory. As the years passed by, the factory became the focal point of the village and an industrial catalyst for the region’s econmy. Complete production lines were built and the company gradually specialized in innovative types of paper – from crepe and textile woven paper to aluminium foil. Today, the two full-blown steam engines of this once pounding heart of Germany’s paper industry whistle no more – the factory is torn down.
Although the valuable black gold had already been discovered in this region in the early 1800s, the first mine shaft was only built around 1905. It was approximately 500 meters deep and was first put to use in 1908. Only a few years later, on the eve of the first World War, a second shaft was put into operation. By the beginning of the second World War, the mine had expanded further and posessed its own power plant. Today, this once thriving zenith of power lies abandoned as it awaits a new destination.
This Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (RAW), a large workshop where locomotives were repaired and serviced, dates back to the 1890s. The impressive maintenance hall with no less than 45 tracks makes it one of Germany’s largest RAW’s. The workshop even had its own small power station. Nowadays the offices, the repair- and maintenance halls and the power station are left to rot.
Industrial textile washing and painting plant. The company was founded in the 1830s. For a period of time, it was the biggest industrial textile washing group in Germany, which furthermore played a leading role in the field of chemical washing technology. Around the 1920s, the group became a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb) – a company owned by the people.