Ecole Communale Roi Albert


This primary school in the Belgium city Jemappes, ‘Ecole Communale Roi Albert’ built in 1937, was abandoned in 2008.

In the heart of Jemappes lies a silent witness to bygone days, the École Communale Roi Albert. Built in 1937 and christened after King Albert of Belgium, this architectural gem once echoed with the laughter and footsteps of eager young minds.

André Sirot

Architect André Sirot poured his vision into the school’s design, creating an L-shaped structure with an imposing facade that stood as a testament to education’s importance. Generations of children crossed its threshold, their dreams nurtured within these walls.

In 2008, the school’s vibrant halls fell silent. The echoes of children’s laughter faded, replaced by the whisper of wind through broken windows. The decision to abandon the school reverberated through the community, affecting 80 children who were sent to other schools in town. Among them, some found solace at l’école Henri Pohl, their new academic home.

Modern apartments

Yet, hope lingered. FK Immo, a visionary real estate company, saw potential where others saw decay. Armed with a budget exceeding 3 million euros, they embarked on a transformational journey. The old classrooms, once filled with youthful curiosity, now house 35 modern apartments. Each room, with its 3.6-meter-high loft-style windows, breathes new life into the past.

The grand stairwells, witnesses to countless footsteps, remain untouched—a bridge between eras. The former playground, once a canvas for childhood games, has transformed into a vast car park.

In 2011, I stepped into this time capsule. The air smelled of dust and nostalgia, and the sun filtered through broken panes, casting shadows on the worn floor. I wondered about the lives that had intersected here—the teachers who inspired, the friendships forged, and the dreams kindled.

Today, the École Communale Roi Albert stands as a fusion of past and present. Its walls harbor secrets, its corridors echo with whispers of forgotten stories. As you explore more abandoned schools here, may each one reveal its unique tale.

Built 1937
Abandoned 2005
Reconverted 2013
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