Photographed May 2002


In the city center of Antwerp stands a tall and prestigious building : the former headquarters of the CMB : Compagnie Maritime Belge (Belgische Scheepvaartmaatschappij), founded in 1895 in order to provide regular cargo service to the Congo. In the 1930's new trade routes to North America, South America and the Far East were added.
Dry bulk trade and container vessels overtook traditional liner trade routes. In 1988 CMB bought Hessenatie, the largest general cargo and container handling company in Antwerp.

Entering the CMB site was particularly challenging because it was located in the busy commercial center of the city. Getting caught was a real possibility. Only a single pane of glass separates the bustling, stylish shopping areas on the street, from the damp, cold and hostile interior.

Walking past the building, you can actually smell the moist, rotting air, wafting through broken windows. The dinosaur breathes right in your face, but the steel bars keep him at bay...and you out!

An invaluable source informed me about an unlocked window !

"then"    (c)CMB

















entrance to a glorious past

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