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The director's residence in Beringen

The director's residence in Beringen

The director's residence in Beringen

When Limburg became the El Dorado of Belgium at the beginning of the 20th century, coal mines sprang up like mushrooms. In their wake, garden suburbs and engineers' and directors' homes were built.

The spacious director's house was built in 1912 right in front of the Beringen coal mine. The representative of the French shareholders of 'SA Charbonnages de Beeringen' lived here.

French and English gardens surrounded his residence. Black and white photos show a villa cupboard finished with a turret, winter garden, bay windows and imitation half-timbering.

There isn't much left of that. In the 1980s, Beringen was in the grip of a pyromaniac for years. He struck dozens of times. He also visited the director's home. It was utterly reduced to ashes.

Since the villa was protected as a village sight, it survived in its ruinous state. Grand renovation plans, such as a conference center or a care home for post-traumatic patients, remained just dreams.

The overgrown park was cleared and redeveloped in 2006 with the ruins of the director's house in the middle, a silent witness to the splendor of yesteryear.

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