One year ago, during summer holidays, while some had booked a ticket to travel to some paradisiac islands or for a sunny destination, I offered myself a small trip to Belgium. “But WTF what are you going to do in Belgium?” In front of this half-desolate, half-interested attitude of my friends, I was smiling, rich of a secret that made my trip even more savory.
When I came back from my little journey, a road-trip (punctuated by carefully chosen destinations after hours spent on the Internet), I then posted some pictures on my Facebook private account. “Wow, but where did you go? That’s wonderful ! Looks like real movie sets, drop me the addresses!” Yeah guys. Belgium.
We do not necessarily think of this country as the first choice of destination when it comes to go for a ride, but believe me, Belgium is full of hidden paradises. Places where to tan or have fun? Oh no, no, no. Let explain myself. When I use the word “paradise” it’s of course based on my own criteria. I’m talking about exploration, old stones, rust, remains of machines, creepy walls and their ghosts ….
My paradise hides in abandoned places.
Among them I could find a wonder and today my heart gets heavy when I hear that the place was recently destroyed, I think of the Castle of Noisy, renamed the romantic name of “Miranda Castle”. This magnificent neo-Gothic building of the XIXth century seems straight out of a fairy tale or rather, a witches tale. Its towers leap into the sky like claws, breaking the clouds. Raised like sceptres, they overhang the woods, dominate the trees that bow before the walls.. Going up at the top of the main tour, you can see in the distance another castle, more sober, but which awakens the desire to conquer, all in armor, with an army of goblins.
Inside, the visit must be done with caution, the stone is cruelly eaten by a parasite, it rottens. No wonder the owner finally gave up and opted for a clean sweep, especially since an explorer could file a complaint if he was injured on the spot. And believe me it’s quite easy to get injured.
Chateau Miranda is a beautiful poisoned apple.
It is full of small traps, broken ceilings, beams ready to break. What ever.. as I walk through pieces to pieces, I am a member of the Goonies gang, determined to open all the doors.
The natural light is enough to give thanks to the ceilings, in “rouge “vermilion , “bleu cyan”..nothing is sober, everything is of a princely beauty and a disproportionate style. The large staircase lets us dreal of long trains of velvet slipping from step to step. A princess trampling them on her vair slippers for a prom evening. Only a vampire or a count could reside here, a romantic soul that probably still wanders in the deserted palace. No more furniture or trinkets, the rooms are empty. Miranda castle is a well known places to urbex lovers, and some may be fond of memories; so do not expect to find any leftovers.
But the basement still keeps its treasures. The perfection of certain parts leave almost believe a staging. It’s too good to be true. The heart beating like Indiana Jones I discover a kitchen and its solid stainless steel furniture . then, down a dark hallway, I enter a beautiful classroom, few chairs and tables frozen in front of a blackboard scribbled with chalk.
Thanks to my headlamp I can take a few clichés. I’d read somewhere that the castle had been used as a school residence.This explains a dozen of tiny bedrooms along the corridors.
Without my light I would be in a total darkness. I am rather like a chicken and get scared quite easily as I was raised in horror movies from a very early age. It does not require much (a shower curtain or a creacky door) to tease my imagination. But curiosity is too strong. I know that I won’t come back, it’s now or never.
Like any good castle, Miranda has its own dependencies and a large estate and a park. In order to access, it is necessary to follow a long way through the woods.
Miranda castle is a true gem that should have belong to some wizard in order to find a second life.
I don’t even dare to imagine the present disaster, and the landscape which is now amputated.
I prefer to smile at images of this pretty discovery and to share my impressions here. Memories and their sensations remain intact.