JU RI FOTO punt nl

Foto set - Sanatorium Dolhain

Just outside a big Belgian city on the banks of the River Weser a strange art deco style building sits on top of a ridge overlooking a busy railway. Parked at one end of the building is an old red fire engine. This is the Preventorium Dolhain, a tuberculosis sanatorium for children. In the early part of the twentieth century TB had become a world wide pandemic. The hospital had 150 beds and such was the grip of the disease that they were full most of the time. But after the Second World War increasing use of recently discovered antibiotics soon made TB a thing of the past and the hospital began to slip into decline. With maintenance costs in excess of five million francs a year it made sound financial sense to close the hospital and it has stood empty ever since until it was bought by an investor in 1991 who had plans to turn it into apartments. Much of the interesting interior has been stripped. The building is full of lovely art deco features with ornamental wrought iron on the staircases.

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