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GES211 - Wintercircus, Belgium

A Wintercircus is what one might imagine, a building purpose built to host a circus during the winter season. This building dates back to 1894, when circuses were a major form of entertainment along with theatre, with cinema still 20 years away. Images of the building in it's heyday can be seen here. It burnt down and was rebuilt in 1920, but was closed in 1944. After that the circus owner parked his huge collection of cars here. If this video is anything to go by, it would have been an amazing place to wander around. As such, the entire place was stripped out.

As we drove up on the other side of a river from the building, I spotted how I was going to attempt to gain entrance. As we parked a few streets away, we sauntered down to the river. It was very quiet where we were, but on the other side of the river it was busy. I wasn't overly concerned and started to climb. The building had been graffitied numerous times, and vandals had made access easy for us.

This is the main auditorium where the circus was held. Seating would have filled the place out.

The reverse of the shot above, on the left a car ramp.

The car ramp goes up through the building. One could guess that originally cages on wheels and elephants walked up here.

Rooms built into the open structure, alongside the car ramp.

vegetation presses onto the glass on some windows beside the car ramp.

If the cars had been left here, the building would have been perfect as a car museum. Car ramps dotted the building.

It was interesting to walk around the building and see a unique structure and design. We rushed off to try to catch a nearby power station before dusk. Thanks to GE063 and GE079.