What is it with Belgian chateaus? Some are just sitting there, gathering dust, littered with half-empty wine glasses and eerie, grime-covered toys, while others have long-since passed the threshold into next-level decay, a kind of fixer-upper's event horizon that would require a gut renovation to recover from. In the latter category is Chateau Miranda, a castle originally built by French aristocrats fleeing the guillotine. Abandoned in 1991, the place is now fit only for wayward teenagers, ghost hunters, and aspiring satanists. Oh, and let's add documentary photographers in for good measure, as it was digital shutterbug David Baker who recently took a memorable look at the place, and uncovered a bit of its history, to boot.
Commissioned in 1886 from English architect Edward Milner, the chateau was taken over in World War II by the National Railway Company of Belgium for use as an orphanage, because what would a creepy old mansion be without the potential for ghost children? Despite several offers, the owners have apparently refused to sell, even after a potential deal to turn it into a hotel fell through, after which the rising cost of maintenance saw it abandoned and ripe for vandalism. A fire claimed part of the roof in 1995, and in 2006, a violent storm further caved it in, and with the hardwood floors ripped out for use elsewhere, Miranda is looking a mite threadbare. Catch an eyeful below, and head to David Baker Photography for the whole scoop.
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