The Skeleton Factory, Ghent, Belgium, November 2019

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
The Skeleton Factory is the nickname given to this former printing factory in Ghent, Belgium. There’s not a huge amount of history about this place that I could find on the net. What I did find was that the printing factory opened in 1935 producing postcards of the Belgian coastline, taken by the pressman/photographer owner, along with photos of Belgium art. During WWII it was occupied by the Germans and the owner was only allowed to produce a very limited range of postcards, mainly ones of German soldiers on. The German’s apparently smashed up all the printing machines at the end of the war but despite this, they got back in business. The company owner switched business over to the printing of labels. On his death, his son took the factory over and focused on industrial printing. The factory was then taken over by American owners in 1948 who ran the factory for the next few decades. In the end, years of under-investment caught up with the factory and profits declined. The factory finally went bankrupt in 2004 with the loss of 46 jobs.

Since then it has been empty. However, in May 2017 a ‘secret show’ organized by street artist Klaas Van Der Linden was held inside the abandoned factory, and the artworks are still visible today, although the complex is set to be demolished soon to make way for a car park.

2. The Explore
First saw this place via a report from another forum earlier this year. Hence thought ‘d check the place out while I was in Ghent. Persuaded a couple of my buddies who I was in Ghent with to come along with me so was nice to have some company for this one. Hopped on a tram from the centre out to the suburbs where the factory was. Entry, like most in Belgium, was relatively easy. In terms of the factory itself, it was nothing special. It was really down to the graff. Really liked the extensive works by Klaas Van Der Linden, despite in places, some of them starting to decay. All in all, a nice relaxed mooch for an hour or so and some great street art.

3. The Pictures

Outside the factory is nothing special:

49106639563_1d185f6857_b.jpg img4445 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49106640243_da2d8edcf7_b.jpg img4443 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The best bit is probably this chimney:

49107341857_20ec691087_b.jpg img4441 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49106642788_2a57328516_b.jpg img4440 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And we’re in. First thing you come to is the boiler room:

49107189271_c636e1e711_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And this bit of graff:

49106679623_abc0472dc2_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And this turtle:

49107188901_eb20fe9aef_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49106678793_991d06c38a_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Then the many works by Van Der Linden:

49107188716_73b7a9b5b5_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107188471_db73995b17_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107378457_6337ecc3a3_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

In parts nature’s taking over:

49106678608_4b3ec5d42f_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107378157_b9dab7a4a2_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107377797_de788d5801_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107186631_4a134833ee_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107185866_06b142ea74_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 13 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107185571_3172a605af_b.jpg Ghent Graff Factory 14 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49106646578_3ea96dfc58_b.jpg img4425 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This is one of my faves, but it has started to weather:

49107350162_205d1219e4_b.jpg img4420 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107352867_9a4888b8e4_b.jpg img4417 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This one is also pretty cool:

49107165896_87bf017020_b.jpg img4411 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107167036_7008b78aef_b.jpg img4404 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107359067_b411c9b123_b.jpg img4403 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Perhaps the two most photographed pieces by all the urbex who have entered this abandoned factory are those painted by ROA depicting a skeleton of a beast and a caterpillar:

49107169521_2863f18e9d_b.jpg img4401 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49106643628_88eea4aa25_b.jpg img4437 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Resto’s piece shows a crashed car and is titled “No Life Before Death”:

49107153521_578824b979_b.jpg img4436 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49106655708_491185c2f6_b.jpg img4413 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49107360022_df018850b6_b.jpg img4402 by HughieDW, on Flickr
Last edited:


Feb 9, 2016
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That's some great art someones done there. Your photos show it well, thank you.

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