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

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by extreme_ironing, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. extreme_ironing

    extreme_ironing 28DL Regular User
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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 Flémalle

    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.

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    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.

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

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    Directions and hallways.

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    Exterior


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    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.

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

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    Moar tramz.

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

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    L'Institut Électrotechnique Montefiore

    This electrical engineering campus for the University of Liege 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.

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    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. ;/

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Phone rays.

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    Wevsky's lunch break.


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    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.

     
    #1 extreme_ironing, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015

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  2. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    Nice one mate :thumb..Was a good trip ,the frog enjoyed itself sitting on my head..we all loved the razor wire so job done
     
  3. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Very nice mate, cracking pics as usual, glad you guys had a good trip :thumb
     
  4. Monkey

    Monkey 28DL Regular User
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    I think the fort was my favourite place from this trip. Like you said nothing but a pin on a map. I remember just giggling whilst running through them tunnels which seemed to go on forever. The fact that such a small hole in the wall tucked away opened up these mass amounts of tunnels made it that much better.
     
  5. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Yeah definitely wasn't expecting it to be such a labyrinth in there, could've spent a lot longer down there. Cool shots EI :thumb
     
  6. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Great report & Pics mate :thumb

    Even Wevsky"s Toad ;)
     
  7. Oort

    Oort The spice expands consciousness.
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    Fabulous, I can't actually decide which one is my favourite pic! Thanks for sharing
     
  8. DirtyJigsaw

    DirtyJigsaw 28DL Full Member
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    Looks like you boys had a great euro trip! Nice locations and great images as always mate
     
  9. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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  10. FaZy_UK

    FaZy_UK 28DL Regular User
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    Great set of pics, looks like you guys had a brilliant trip!
     
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