Dark Shadow Church

2001-2015. Fourteen years I expected that.
Access "open" but closed, a good dose of mischance and lot of patience (which is however not my habit) have enameled my quest for the Dark Shadow Church.

Disused for nearly fifty years and deconsecrated in 2001, the venerable Gothic building is slowly dying. Yet with a long history of eight centuries, the old neighborhood church still doesn't know which way to turn.
However, these are not projects that have failed during the past decade : library, museum, luxury hotel, bio food store, social housing or even mosque (ouch...). A closer look, fortunately none of these projects has emerged : it would have totally distorted a building that has generally keep the same face throughout its existence. Why these failures ?
Just by wondering around, we understand that the church is in a bad state. Once inside, the fears are largely confirmed. Walls and columns lean, cracks are visible, roofs are pierced and finally, beams and paneling crashing to the ground.
Some stabilization and temporary repairs have taken place but this too little to ensure a future for the building.

Passing time, pigeons and a total lack of interest authorities will perhaps succeed in knocking down a church straight out of the Middle Ages.
Pathetic...

Dark Shadow Church

Stone, wood and... guano !

Dark Shadow Church

From a still very early Gothic, the interior is very homogeneous.

Dark Shadow Church

The floor is very rich but unfortunately made invisible for a layer of guano.

Dark Shadow Church

No stone vaults but paneled cribs everywhere (completely rebuilt in the 19th century).

Dark Shadow Church

Cribs, tie beams and punches deserve a full report but a disgusting light and a forgotten telephoto lens have decided otherwise.

Dark Shadow Church

South aisle.
The windows were always closed with wooden planks, except in the high nave and facade.

Dark Shadow Church

North aisle.
Here, no more roof...

Dark Shadow Church

Base of the south tower.

Dark Shadow Church

The only hard vault of the church.
Other vaults were planned in the other tower and the choir but they were never realized.

Dark Shadow Church

Vestige of a 19th century altar, set up during the great restoration to remove the classic decor installed in the 18th century.

Dark Shadow Church

Votive monument of the 15th century.
A unique masterpiece in great danger...

Dark Shadow Church

Stairs to nowhere.
What remains of the pulpit of the 17th century.

Dark Shadow Church

A forgotten bell clapper.
Of the five bells that were in the church, three were relocated in another church. The other two, it is unknown what became of.

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

North aisle.
The big rotten beam on the floor is a fall tie beam from the central nave.

Dark Shadow Church

The transept.
From here, the windows become larger and worked.

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

There are still a few months, statues from the 16th to the 17th century decorated the columns of the nave. They have unfortunately been removed to be placed in another church. At least, their future is perpetuated.

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

From the choir.

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

The large facade window.
Threat of collapse in the street.

Dark Shadow Church

From the organ loft.

Dark Shadow Church

 

Dark Shadow Church

The organ of the late 19th century.
In a rundown condition.

Dark Shadow Church

The simplicity of a small church built in the 13th century.

Dark Shadow Church

The choir with a flat apse. Rare layout in Belgium.
A magnificent stained glass of the 19th century is hidden by wooden boards. At least, it's safe.

Dark Shadow Church

A vestige of the altar.
It's time to go...

13

November 2015

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