Scheepswerf Van Praet-Van Damme
THE ABANDONED SHIPYARD IN BELGIUM
‘Scheepswerf Van Praet-Van Damme’ is an old shipyard in Baasrode. Today it is a museum but it has a long history.
The village Baasrode has a rich history in the ship-built industry. Already in the 16th century there were ship-builders active in Baasrode. In 1764 there are 5 ship yards with 5 employees each. But after the Belgian Revolution in 1830 the Dutch closed the Schelde river what resulted in closure of the yards. In 1860 the only two left were the yards of the family Van Praet and Van Damme.
Shipyard Van Damme switched in 1984 to building ships from steel and iron. After the Second World War the need for bigger ships rose but the small wharf couldn’t produce the bigger ships. In 1955 Van Damme sold the site to the neighbour Van Praet. The merged company did well until in the late 1970’s when the transport over water was taken over by trucks on land. In 1986 the doors of Scheepswerf Van Praet-Van Damme closed its doors. In 1990 the site was sold to the city and the buildings and docks are protected. The old directors house of Van Damme is now a museum. I took these photos of ‘Scheepswerf Van Praet-Van Damme’ in 2007.