Belgium: Château de Miranda

360° panorama by Steve Vogel.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

Hidden deep in the forests of the Ardennes near Celles, Belgium lies the forgotten ruins of Château de Miranda.  The story begins during the French Revolution when the family of the Count of Liedekerke-Beaufort were forced to leave their feudal castle Château de Vêves and hide in a nearby farm. After numerous expansions of the farm, the opulent residence was built as a summer home for the family in 1866 by the English architect Milner, although he died before seeing its completion. The Château de Mirinda, as it was called then, was owned and used by the family except when it was briefly occupied by Nazi troops in World War II.  From 1950 the castle (now known as Château de Noisy) was taken over by the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS) as a ‘holiday camp’ for children who suffered from ill health. After 1970 it was used for outdoor activities and sport holidays for children, and became well known in Belgium. Due to the cost of upkeep, the chateau was abandoned in 1991 and has sadly fallen into disrepair.  The internal structure is now extremely unstable with collapsed floors caused by water and fire damage, but you can still see remnants of its faded glory.  The site is now famous among the urban explorer community.

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