Den Belga

Built: 1948

Abandoned: 2006

Demolished: 2007

Visited: 2007

Antwerpen, Belgium

Brothers Alphonse and François Vander Elst started a tabacco factory in 1886 as a family business. In 1921 the company opend its doors in this new factory in Mersem, close to Antwerpen. The factory was designed by architect Jan Jacobs. In 1959 and 1966 architect Paul Tombeur added new buildings to the growing factory site. Vander Elst made Belga and Tigra cigarettes. A second factory in Leuven produced cigars.

Belga certainly was the most popular cigarette in Belgium for more than 50 years. Until the downfall started, Vander Elst first merged with Tabacofina, Tabacofina came into the hands of the British Rothmans, which eventually merged with the BAT group.

2006

The cigarette factory closed in 2006. ‘Tabacofina-Vander Elst’ or ‘Den Belga’ as locals called the factory, moved its production to Poland, where a modern factory produce 20.000 cigarettes every minute. The factory in Merksem had 800 employees in 1994, the last years it was downsized to 230 people. The last month only 30 were left to dismantle the machinery and move the last inventory to other locations. In August 2006 the last cigarette is produced in Den Belga. Following the factory, the brand Belga also disappeared in 2014 and was rebranded Lucky Strike.

Photos of Den Belga

belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
belga sigaretten antwerpen
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