Couvent de Gensterbloem
THE ABANDONED MONASTERY IN BELGIUM
‘Couvent de Gensterbloem’ is an abandoned monastery and church in Hombourg, a village in Belgian Limburg. The buildings were used as a catholic school and old folks home.
In 1875 the Congregation of the Franciscan sisters, fleeing the Kulturkampf in Germany, moved to Hombourg. During that time the land and complex cover more than one hectare and was owned by the Count of Bourcieu Montereux. In 1908, the owner left his property to the Franciscan sisters. The small monastery complex was expanded in 1910 with the Antonius Chapel, its architect was Émile Deshayes from Liège. Additionally the other buildings were used as a Catholic school. After the First World War, the dormitories are transformed into comfortable rooms for both elderly couples and single people. Gensterbloem housed 38 residents.
In September 2002, the sisters left the place and moved to a bigger and more modern building in Banneux. The property, now also known as Agnus Dei or the Lamb of God, was eventually sold. A few weeks later, a violent fire almost destroyed the premises. Since then, the buildings are in a very bad state. The roof is gone and floors are rotten. I took these photos of ‘Couvent de Gensterbloem’ in 2009 and 2016.