Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Deinsbekecollege
THE ABANDONED SCHOOL IN BELGIUM
This is the ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Deinsbekecollege’. A neo-Gothic school complex that was built in 1883 as a Catholic health institute.
To meet the demand for affordable education in Zottegem, August de Rouck founded a new school in 1862. The school was housed in the offices and library of the Sint-Vincentius Society. The following year, the school building was extended with a teacher’s house. But already in 1881 the school buildings and teacher’s house were demolished.
A completely new school was built in 1883 in Neo-Gothic style. The buildings are designed by architect Alphonse Vossaert (1855-1935). He was a former student of the Sint-Lucasschool in Gent. According to the school chronicle, the construction was partly funded by the founder of the old school, August de Rouck. Initially it was a secondary school for agricultural education. But in 1962 the secondary education moved to a new building. From that time the building was only used as primary school. It used to house about 500 students. After a merge with another local schools in 2002, the complex was no longer used as an educational institution.
While being abandoned and neglected, the roof collapsed after a big fire. After that, nature took over, I even saw plants growing inside the old classrooms.
I made these photos of the ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Deinsbekecollege’ in 2018. The buildings were partly demolished, and partly reconverted in 2019. See more reports of abandoned schools here.