Abandoned power station in the industrial heart of Luxembourg. Already in the 1870s, four furnaces were built in the region. Since then, many blast furnaces have been added, which led to the blossoming of the Luxembourg steel industry and turned it into one of the largest in Europe. Originally, only the gas which was produced by the creation of cokes was used to generate electricity – next to, evidently older techniques which existed already. Later on, however, a new process was discovered to convert the furnace gas, which was released by the melting of the steel, into electricity. In 1951, the Centrale Thermique was built, which allowed to apply this newly developed technique and thus provide electricity for the surrounding industry. When the last furnace in the region was shut down in 1997, the power station lost its purpose and was left abandoned. It soon became a hotspot for copper thieves and graffiti sprayers. The building will soon be demolished.
Even though the roots of the steel manufacturing industry in this region date back to the second half of the nineteenth century, this particular company was only established around the mid twentieth century – in the 1960s. Similar to many other companies in Germany, the manufacturing plant at a certain point became a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb), a people-owned-company which – in its heydays – employed more than 10,000 workers. The factory specialized in steel parts for heavy industrial purposes – from whole steel rolling installations to cranes. After the company was privatized, it was split into different branches, each with their own ‘speciality’. Although this particular plant has been abandoned, the company still thrives as it moved its production to more modern facilities.
This machine room used to be the pounding heart of one of the largest roof tile factories in Belgium. Built in the northern part of the country during the 1920s, this factory was once considered very innovative for its époque. The large drying sheds for example were in part heated by the recuperated heat of the steam engines. Even though these drying sheds have been beautifully reconverted into offices, large parts of the factory have been demolished while others lay abandoned and collect dust – hoping that one day the necessary funds will be gathered to commence renovation.
Small coal mine dating back to 1907. In 1909 both pits became fully operational. The short history of the coal mine, which shut down in 1925, was a tumultuous one, maimed by two mine explosions leading to the death of six miners. The first explosion took place in 1911 and the second one only one year later, in 1912. Today, only one headstock and the reconverted machine room (which is used for art exhibits) still stand.
The only remaining headstock of the coal mine Zeche Carl Funke. Although the surrounding buildings have been torn down, this headstock stands strong in the midst of a recreational forest. The origin of the Carl Funke mine dates back to as early as the 1800’s and closed its doors in 1973.
Abandoned printing factory. Once upon a time a fine example of modern architecture, based on a perfectly symmetrical plan; nowadays a dump-site for assorted waste. Although the exterior of this eloquently designed factory still oozes its former grandeur, the inside is literally rotten: collapsed floors, uncountable hazardous barrels filled with chemicals and severe vandalism turned its interior into a wasteland.
This abandoned factory once belonged to one of the world’s leading brands in sewing machines. Established around 1900 in the U.S., this company used to be – and still is – famous for its innovative sewing solutions. The brand is furthermore well-known for its fruitful collaboration with renowned architects, who have designed several of its factories and office buildings. Up until 2001 the needles for the sewing machines were manufactured in this particular factory. In this same year, the factory changed owner, only to be abandoned three years later, when maintenance costs became unaffordable.
This ceramics producing group dates back as far as the 1830s. It was once the largest producer of ceramics in Europe. Even though the factory is now abandoned and destined to be redeveloped into a series of luxury apartments, its heritage – a collection of approximately 60.000 earthenware objects depicting the history of Sphinx – will keep its memory alive forever.
Abandoned brewery, which finds its origin in the early 18th century. The brewing group officially went into business around 1730 and drastically expanded in the following decades, reaching a brewing-capacity of millions of hectoliters annually. During its heydays, this blossoming brewing empire changed hands more than once and was progressively incorporated into increasingly larger brewing companies. Nowadays, the iconic factory stands abandoned, while the beer continues to be brewed – following the original recipe – in new, state-of-the-art breweries.