It has been very difficult indeed to find out much about this abandoned hospital near the village of Saint Symphorien not far from Mons in southern Belgium, but it has been known in urb-ex circles as 'Forest View' ever since it first appeared on the radar. It is quite literally attached to a modern development at the north end of the site, a development so new it does not even appear on the most recent Google Earth satellite view taken in 2007. The new building, a nursing care home for elderly patients in need of full time medical care, is known as the 'Residence du Bois d'Havre', which translates literally as the residence of Havre Wood. It opened on the 5th. October, 2010, and is the largest such facility in the Wallonia area with 221 beds. It is therefore only natural to assume, especially in light of the sheer amount of geriatric care equipment we encountered during our exploration, that the abandoned building was also a care facility for the elderly; and indeed that is the case.

But it was not always so.

The first building on the site, from which the geriatric hospital eventually evolved, was a sanatorium built in 1957. The geriatric hospital with more than 180 beds into which it evolved was opened in 1977, the conversion/new build being financed by CPAS of Mons. It finally closed its doors once the new development came on stream.

At some time there has been an enormous fire on the first floor which has very badly damaged the ward blocks there and left a visible black wave of smoke along the corridor walls just above head height. A clock on the wall has stopped at 10.14 and one inevitably wonders if that was the time of the big fire. Subsequent to that particular fire moronic elements of society appear to have attempted to set several more fires on the same floor. I say this because there is no evidence of the smaller fires having burnt through the partition walls between rooms as you might expect had the individual fires all been a part of one whole.


Below is a selection of the photographs we took in and around Residence du Bois d'Havre geriatric care hospital in June 2012.


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The buildings on the left are a fairly new hospital built on to the derelict former hospital to the right. This is therefore quite an active site!

The approach from the opposite side to the active hospital is very easy.

Once inside it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the lack of light in the main reception area.


There are quite a lot of abandoned beds and miscellaneous "hospitalery" left behind!

A commode chair.


The grounds between the two hospitals go from well manicured to totally overgrown within a few yards!

It looks like this was the product of an occupational therapy session with one of the patients.

One of many identical abandoned wheelchairs.


I'm not at all sure what this is!


We got the feeling that this was a staff locker room.

And here's another wheelchair!


We turned a dark corner in a near pitch black corridor and found the mortuary freezers.

Not the nicest place to pitch up but it's a salutary fact that the chances are most of us will.

This puts a whole new perspective on the phrase "terraced accommodation"!

There's not a lot of room in these "apartments"!


Let's have a bit of hospital stair porn!


It appears from the wave of smoke blackening on the walls that this floor was the seat of a severe fire.

Did this clock stop during the fire?

Many of the rooms on this floor have suffered fires which look like they happened some time later, probably by the actions of vandals. In this case someone torched a piano which appals me.

Many windows in the hospital have inevitably been smashed.


Why did this patient leave his slippers behind?


Some rooms still have their curtains in place.

One of the few undamaged ablutions.


We liked this ward which didn't need much imagination to see in action as it were!

A bit of rampant chavvery sadly.


This first floor lobby appears to have been a reception area.


Unused sharps and a log book.


Yet another wheelchair.


I suppose I should call this photo something like "reverse stair porn"!
We have moved up another floor and this is the central records area complete with mouldering patient files still in situ.
Doctor! There's a small wood growing in my stomach!

...and another in my chest!


Looking across at this wing of the hospital it appears that many of these particular rooms were quite swish, even having their own balconies.

Looks like the Goth kids have been round to play!

The throne!


We are up on the top level now - how odd to find beds and assorted furniture out here!

I'm not a huge fan of graf, full stop, but I don't mind proper urban art if it shows talent. Stencilled urban art I like even less. But this has a certain something.

I see very little in the way of talent in producing what amounts to a large poster.


How abstract is this? It reminds me very much of The Beatles' film "Yellow Submarine" and the menagerie of the Blue Meanies.


Back on the ground floor again we explored a wing close to the active site last in case we were spotted.

We were not prepared for what we found beyond these classy doors...

...a complete theatre and stage!

Reminds me of the last gig we played!
Far left = active!
Time to leave again via the woods!



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