Belgium is bursting with beautiful and intact abandoned buildings, so naturally, it was high on my list to visit. Staying with locals was a huge help and a fellow urbex explorer did the honour of showing me this beautiful relic. Nestled in the countryside of Leuven, Belgium, this old clergy house stands next to the church and graveyard that it belongs to.
Over an eight foot high wall next to the old church and graveyard sits the abandoned clergy house in Landen. The back door sits agar, drifting slightly in the wind, visible through the garden that nature has reclaimed. It seems this beautiful old structure like many others in the area has been forgotten, stripped of anything of value and discarded.
Time stands still at the old clergy house. Prayer books sit piled up as if just left after a ceremony and a richly embellished red and gold vestment lays slung over the back of a chair. A typewriter sits amidst the other belongings on the table now collecting dust, forgotten along with the house. On the fireplace is a homemade bookshelf with one particular copy slightly pulled out by a finger. Even more unusual, keys are left carefully placed on the table. It’s amazing to think that just one person lived in this large abode, some of the rooms seemed barely used and the emptiness echoed throughout.
I follow a lot of other urban explorers online and what most attracted me to exploring Belgium was the fact that many of these places are still very much intact along with personal belongings. This interests me greatly and for me gives the place more character and adds to its legacy.
Belgium is home to so many abandoned homes that seem to be untouched. This is due to the fact that when people inherit houses it is often too expensive to renovate them especially if they are listed buildings. The government also requires that there are residents of these houses, they cannot just be used as a holiday home, those who do not comply are issued with a hefty fine which doubles every year. With no money to repair these homes and no potential renters, they get left to fall into disrepair.
A room at the front of the house hosts some religious iconography in the form of artwork, one picture still hanging pride of place above the fireplace. The others lined up, telling a story like a picture book; a sad, abandoned art gallery.
The wind howls through the house, through the rotten floorboards and creaking stairs, we trod lightly as the floor had already given way in some places. A lonely chair sits in the bedroom alongside a candle holder.
We did not see a soul here and it looked like it had not been visited for a while. The urbexer that I went with said that not much had changed in two years except a few items were now missing.
As this clergy house is so intact and still has a lot of its original belongings inside I would like to not reveal the exact location. All I will say is that it is located in Landen, Belgium next to a church in the countryside. The area is not big so anyone who is keen enough will definitely find it. It backs onto a graveyard so make sure no one is visiting a grave and then you can scale the eight-foot wall. You may need a friend for a leg up, either that or cat-like abilities. The clergy house faces many residential houses even though it is not a built-up area and of course the church but if you go on a weekday then you should not be bothered by anyone.
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