Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Deinsbekecollege


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.

Primary school

In 1883, a new school was constructed in the Neo-Gothic style. The design was the work of architect Alphonse Vossaert (1855-1935), an alumnus of Sint-Lucasschool in Ghent. The school’s chronicle notes that August de Rouck, the founder of the predecessor school, partially funded the construction. Originally, it served as a secondary school specializing in agricultural education. However, in 1962, the secondary education department relocated to a new facility, and the building continued as a primary school. It once accommodated around 500 students. Following a consolidation with other local schools in 2002, the complex ceased functioning as an educational establishment.

After being abandoned and neglected, the building suffered a roof collapse due to a large fire. Subsequently, nature began to reclaim the space, with plants sprouting 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.

Built 1883
Abandoned 2002
Reconverted 2019