Urbex Europe

I’ve recently been for a weeks road trip in Belgium, Western Germany, Northern France and Luxembourg. For the most part we slept in or on derelict sites to keep costs down, and in some ways we got really lucky with the weather - scorching heat meant we could sleep on the roofs twice, which was an awesome experience.

Here are a selection of the images from the trip. I’ll add more as I process them if you’re interested.


Eventide Communion by jamescharlick, on Flickr

Chapel Rose was built between 1290 and 1308 as a convent and hospital, occupied by the Augustinian Sisters. Around 1600 the entire complex was destroyed by fire, after which it was rebuilt. The oldest parts that have been preserved date from that period. In the 19th century the south and west wings were partially demolished and rebuilt.

This was certainly one of my highlights from our trip.


The Cages by jamescharlick, on Flickr

Miners in Germany used these cages in place of lockers to store their clothes and personal items before going to work underground. Each cage is padlocked in a numbered slot, which when unlocked could be lowered or raised to the ceiling for safe keeping. The miners would change out of their regular clothes in one room, walk through a shower room and into an identical cage room from which they’d retrieve their grubby mining clothes.


The Cages II by jamescharlick, on Flickr

This is a close up of the cage hooks as described above, and you can just see the basket sections hanging below.


The Grand Hotel Regnier by jamescharlick, on Flickr

The Grand Hotel Regnier was once a luxurious top class hotel & restaurant, now faded and rotten. In 6 1/2 days exploring, who would have thought that the one place we’d be caught inside would be the most rotten of old derelicts?

After no more than 5 minutes inside there was a colossal banging on the front window. Assuming it was the police, we turned around to see an angry, red-faced local slamming his hand against the glass.

Yeah, yeah, ok, we’ll be out shortly… Still, having seen the best the place probably had to offer we weren’t too upset. It was our final night of the trip, so we promptly went for beer and steak. Tough times.


Specimen Shelves by jamescharlick, on Flickr

The basement of “The Horror Labs” is the last real feature of this old veterinary school, where the bulk of the samples have been removed - presumably in slow preparation for the development of this, the final building on the site.

This macabre scene features various Frankenstein’s Monster styled formaldehyde specimen jars, containing anything from lungs and livers to whole dogs heads.

Not a site for the squeamish.


Home Sweet Home by jamescharlick, on Flickr

Abandoned since 2008, this care home for the elderly used to house 221 residents.

Unfortunately metal thieves have now systematically moved through the place and ripped it apart.

We slept on the roof here on our second night while vandals and thieves threw cables, chairs and radiators out of the windows below us until the early hours.


Sulzer X by jamescharlick, on Flickr

On our final morning we headed into Powerstation IM. It’s huge, there’s no doubt about it, but either through fatigue or because of the ridiculous amount of sites we had already visited IM felt a little ‘meh’.

An impressive place of course, but it didn’t live up to my expectations after all I’d heard. Perhaps with all the community hype, it never could.

As you can see I’ve experimented a bit with the processing and whatnot. Any feedback is more than welcome. I’ll add more as I sort through them :slight_smile:

Awesome photos, I would put one on my desktop but the resolution is too low.

Really great looking images. Composition and lighting are fantastic!

Damn, this pictures are fucking beautiful

Awesome pics dude. And you slept above vandals? Damn, I wouldn’t have had the guts to do that.

Hehe.

We could hear them as soon as we parked up down the road, almighty crashes and bangs where they were throwing heavy shit out the windows instead of carrying it down. In the UK the police would have been there inside 2 minutes.

They obviously heard us enter the building, and assuming we were looking for them they promptly shut up. We made our way up, avoiding them, and set up camp on the roof.

There was one access to the roof up a ladder next to the top of the elevators, and we “locked” it by securing a metal bar across the door. We couldn’t have missed them opening it up again.

That said about half an hour after I went to sleep everyone else was awoken by the muppets starting up again - throwing radiators and chairs out the windows. I slept straight through it and got an excellent nights sleep. So I guess I wouldn’t have woken up if they’d come up to the roof after all.

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I’ll add to them once there are more to show :slight_smile:

Sorry I can’t provide desktop quality versions but it’s too easy to take someones images and sell prints without permission. I have to safeguard against things like that. A 1920px image at 150 dpi will print to 12 inches across :frowning:

Great photos, and a great story to go with them!

Beautiful photos, man. Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:

The next batch…


Escalier du Lumiere by jamescharlick, on Flickr

This Chateau once belonged to a wealthy industrialist of the region, but now sits quiet and empty on a hillside backing onto a forest.

We spent a pleasant night inside sheltering from the thunder and lighting.


Crachoir Baths Changing Rooms by jamescharlick, on Flickr

The corridors are one of the nicer features of this old swimming baths, built in 1915 and active until 1999. It was built in the first world war to prevent all of the local workforce from being transported from Belgium to Germany to work on the war effort in their factories.

I really wasn’t sure how I wanted to process this image. It just sort of came out misty…


Dogs Ovaries and Other Samples by jamescharlick, on Flickr

Another shot from “The Horror Labs” - an old veterinary school, where the bulk of the samples have been removed - presumably in slow preparation for the development of this, the final building on the site.

This macabre scene features various Frankenstein’s Monster styled formaldehyde specimen jars, containing anything from lungs and livers to whole dogs heads.


Immaculate by jamescharlick, on Flickr

It’s a bit of a struggle to find any details on this site - St. Hilarius / Monastere du Roi.

It’s a part of a live site, and they’re obviously very used to finding rapscallions such as us snooping around inside. We bumped into a woman who, after asking us to leave, mentioned that “work” was starting the following week so we wouldn’t be able to get in after that. I don’t know the nature of the work, but I hope it’s to convert the monastery into a usable space again without destroying a lot of what makes it charming and unique.

zomg i could stare at these pictures forever

This update is sponsored by Germany & Belgian Industry.


King of Spades by jamescharlick, on Flickr


Kohlenwasche by jamescharlick, on Flickr

After being the most important mine in the region for some 100 years, this mine was closed in 2000. At its peak, it could output 1050 tonnes of raw coal per hour or 2.5m tonnes per year.

One of the dirtiest places we visited, but also one of my favorites!


Generator by jamescharlick, on Flickr

On our final morning we headed into Powerstation IM. It’s huge, there’s no doubt about it, but either through fatigue or because of the ridiculous amount of sites we had already visited IM felt a little ‘meh’.

An impressive place of course, but it didn’t live up to my expectations after all I’d heard. Perhaps with all the community hype, it never could.

It still seems to have turned out some good images though. Revisit? Perhaps.

Those coal mine pics reminded me of HL2.

It’s a little nastier if you misjudge a jump in these places :wink:

These are the last couple before I leave for Iceland, so I may as well put them up!


Le Manoir à la Verrière by jamescharlick, on Flickr

This Chateau once belonged to a wealthy industrialist of the region, but now sits quiet and empty on a hillside backing onto a forest.

We spent a pleasant night inside sheltering from the thunder and lighting.


Sunset Sanctuary by jamescharlick, on Flickr

Chapel Rose was built between 1290 and 1308 as a convent and hospital, occupied by the Augustinian Sisters. Around 1600 the entire complex was destroyed by fire, after which it was rebuilt. The oldest parts that have been preserved date from that period. In the 19th century the south and west wings were partially demolished and rebuilt.

This was certainly one of my highlights from our roadtrip.

Thanks for any comments below, I won’t see them for a couple of weeks but I will eventually :wink: