Steenbakkerijen Frateur

Built: 1923

Abandoned: 1986

Restored: 2006

Visited: 2007

Noeveren, Belgium

Noeveren near the Rupel river is a classic worker district. The brick industry dominated the banks of this river. Around the 1900’s a unique landscape arose, with more than 150 active factories near the Rupel and a slogan “the biggest in the world” it has the top production of the world. Steenbakkerijen Frateur was one of the flourishing companies.


This unique landscape went through a serious crisis as a result of the recession in the brick industry. Nowadays there are only 5 factories left near the river Rupel. The biggest brick factory in Noeveren was Steenbakkerijen Frateur. On this site bricks were made already in 1346. Over the years other factories started in the same district. The three factories that were active in 1840 were bought by Paul Frateur. Since 1986 the site is protected industry, Paul Frateur was fighting for protection since 1973. Ironic fact is that the protection was given on the day Paul Frateur died.


Ever since that day the site went to bad period. The place became abandoned, buildings collapsed and the huge drying sheds were destroyed by trees and the weather. In 1997 finally a start was made for restoration. The EMABB association starts tot rebuilt the 1912 oven building. But the works stopped, again the site got worse. Finally in 2006 they started repairing the drying sheds and the 1950 engine room. The site is now part of the brick industry museum of Boom.

Photos of Steenbakkerijen Frateur

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