Halte Royal d’Ardenne
THE ABANDONED TRAIN STATION IN BELGIUM
‘Halte Royal d’Ardenne’ is an abandoned train station used by Royal Family in Houyet, a village in the Belgium Ardennes. It was abandoned in 1919 and will be restored soon.
In 1874 King Leopold II of Belgium built a giant castle in Houyet, a town in the Ardenne region. The castle was used as a very luxury hotel. King Leopold II wanted to promote the Belgian region of the Ardennes as a holiday destination for the international jet-set. In fact the railway station in the corner of the park made the remote castle accessible to tourists. Also a 18 holes golf course was installed in the park. The Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits ran this hotel from 1899 onwards.
During the First World War the castle was closed because of its war damage, the station closed not much later. The castle opened again, but the station not. After the the Second World War the castle was sold to a golf club. The hotel closed its doors definitively in 1950. In 1968 the castle burns down and not much later it’s completely demolished. Only this old station and the “Tour Léopold”, a pavilion in the beautiful park, remains of the vast castle. I took these photos of ‘Halte Royal d’Ardenne’ during my visit in 2011. Follow this link for more transport related locations.