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In 1860 they open an elementary school, which grows into the Lorette-school, with a nursery school, an elementary school and a secondary school.
In the course of years, they also build a home for elderly women.
In the late 20th centry the monastic order extinguishes and the Lorette school ascends into the Scheppersinstituut. The buildings are vacant now.
In 1990 the school is re-used for parttime education until April 2003. (In 2001, some doors were stolen from the Lorette convent, the police found them again at an antiquarian in Mechelen)
Int he years 2000, some project developers got interested in the buildings, but for some it was too expensive, another one wanted it didn't come with the money, and one who bought it found it too hard to keep the protected state of some buildings in account.
From June till September 2005 some archeologists did a first examination of the grounds, before they would start building apartments and a sub-underground parking.
End 2005 it seemed that the renovation and renewal would begin soon; a project developer from Antwerp bought the buildings of the convent and had plans for a living complex with apartments and lofts. Another one took an option on the school buildings.
In March 2007 - still nothing has happened to the buildings - the city of Mechelen asks allowances at the federal government because it wants to participate in the renovation.
Finally, on June 30 of this year, the renovation is subsidized, now it's just waiting till October, when the request for building will hopefully be confirmed.
Then convent will be reconverted into 18 convent lofts.
Three façades of the other buildings must be kept, there they will build 3 houses, and behind that some other new buildings, 2 gardens and a parking...
Will that ever come true? We'll see...
But there was one rolling shutter which was loose. My boyfround lifted it as subtle as possible and discovered that the window behind it was open!
Okay, that could be easy, if it wasn't for the fact that the buildings are in the center of the city, it was nice weather and lots of people were passing by.
Even a group of tourists.
As we stood there waiting till the coast was clear, a local weirdo had seen we were trying to find an entrance and came to talk to us.
He didn't even know what exactly the buildings had served for.
We explained, and he left.
On a pretty safe moment, we got in action: the rolling shutter was lifted and I sneaked in.
It was a real surprise to see that the next one crawling in was not one of my fellow explorers, but the weirdo!
Finally we had all entered, the exploring could begin!
It was almost already the end for me because I stepped right next to a hole in the floor which I hadn't seen...
We decided to have a quick run-through to see what's most interesting, because the place is huge.
But the first floor being discovered, we couldn't keep ourselves in check and started photographing from there.
The weirdo borrowed my flashlight to explore the upper floors.
He came back with some pics he took with his cellphone, we were really impressed ;-)
Then he left - finallly - with some religious books we had found on the floor...
Some time later I experienced the most wonderful and magic moment ever since I've started exploring: I discovered a heavenly hall with arches, orange lit by the sun.
(see photo above)
I got so excited, it was really divine. I yelled my friends to come immediately, before the sun would be gone and the light so much less gorgeous.
To encounter such lovely places and try to catch it in a photo, that's what I do it all for. The hallways in the convent were also beautiful.
What else did I find: a wallet with an identity card, a banc card, a bus card, etc. (lost some weeks ago). Some remains of a papier-mâché dragon. And some seats with a shit-hole.
Unfortunately I ran out of batteries at the end (blame my LCD screen which I use all the time), but I had nearly seen everything.
We left via a door on the other - less visible in public - side, which can only be opened from the inside. A few weeks later I heard that it was closed again - luckily.
The last thing this wonderful place can use are vandals!
- 2005 (History in brief): http://www.victor-scheppers.org/Scheppers-n/BROEDERS/Eerbiedwaardige/Zusters/Zusters.htm
- 2004/12/03 (the parttime education): http://www.tsmmechelen.be/CLW/CDO20j/cdo20Presentatie.htm
- 2001/08/24 (the theft): http://antwerpen.gva.be/nieuws-antwerpen/2001/08/24/kloosterdeuren-stonden-bij-mechelse-antiquair.html
- 2005/01/15 (the sale): http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=gulbn1kt
- 2005/04/06 (the sale): http://www.radioreflex.be/web/html/home/nieuws_archief.html
- 2005/11/05 (sale again): http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=gnsjuhh0
- 2006/03/05 (excavations): http://tijlv.studentenweb.org/mt/archives/2006/03/het_spijker_in.html
- 2007/03/01 (allowances): http://blog.stadmechelen.be/index.php?itemid=1197
- 2007/06/30 (request for building): http://handiginhuis.be/?p=323