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Boom brickworks

Boom brickworks

Boom brickworks

At the end of the 18th century, the Belgian Rupel region counted more than hundreds of brickworks. However, the rise of concrete and mechanization heralded the end of the brick industry in the 1960s.

Traces of the brick industry in the region go back to 1346, when, according to the Immovable Heritage Inventory, there was a tile building in the Blauwe Pan Alley.

Clay pits 

The clay was dug out of the ground from clay pits and along the banks of the Rupel, after which the workers shaped the stones manually. After the bricks had dried in the drying sheds for weeks, they could go into the ovens to bake.

One of those disused clay pits has been transformed into the recreational park De Schorre. Each year, this park is the venue for the famous Tomorrowland Festival.

Working conditions in the clay pits and brickworks were dire; child labor was the rule rather than the exception.

Ruins of the brick-making past

Several brickworks have been preserved in Noeveren, a hamlet of Boom. Brik Boom outlines the history of the brickwork alongside the river Rupel, while at Frateur, you can explore the drying sheds and ring kilns. 

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