Urbex – L’observatoire

Abandoned astronomical observatory somewhere in Belgium. I had high expectations when I came to visit this place. I knew the telescopes were still there, and that made the exploration very exciting, I couldn’t wait to see them !

The main building has been built in 1881 in neo-medieval style by a university. In the 1960’s, three modern buildings were added to the site. The place has been left to decay since 2002 when the university moved to another place, but some parts of it are still used by the astronomical society of Belgium. I had been granted the authorisation to visit the place, and the caretaker, a very nice man, explained me that the site was secured and that everyday there were security guards scouting the buildings because of the vandals and the junkies. Speaking about that, I ‘ve been quite deceived by my visit: the place is in a quite bad condition, and there’s not much to see there apart empty classrooms. I’ve found the telescopes, hidden high in their rounded towers, unfortunately, it was pitch dark there and I couldn’t manage to take any pictures of them. I’ve also been quite scared as I found that a fox was hiding in one of the telescope towers. I didn’t knew that, and when I used my flashlight to see the telescope, I saw two eyes watching me which made me almost fall in the staircase ! I told the caretaker that there was a fox in a tower and he told me:”Oh, you’ve seen the fox ! I don’t know how he enter the place but I’ve seen him many times.” I have to admit that it’s the first time that I’ve made such an encounter in an abandoned place… I was deceived about the telescopes, but quite amused about the story of the fox !