Abandoned places

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Wintercircus Gent (Circus Mahy)
Photographed: april 2003
Web: july 2003

Last known status: abandoned but cleaned up.

Once there was this circus in the city centre of Gent known as the Wintercircus, next to the entrance there’s now a bronze plaque with the history of the circus in short: The New Circus. Built in 1894. Burnt down in 1920. Rebuilt in 1923. Last performance 28-5-1944. Donated to the city of Gent by circus Bouglione 16-11-1971. After that it was used as a garage and it housed a collection of old-timer cars owned by a Mr. Mahy. A few years ago Mahy had to move his collection of cars because the circus was going to be demolished to make room for a cinema and other cultural purposes. As so many ambitious plans it didn't happen and the circus is still there, abandoned, beautiful, asking to be photographed.

Start with N°1 to take the tour, or click on any thumbnail to view larger picture in new window


Wintercircus Gent - Part 2
  Photographed: September 2004
March 2005

Despite the fact that this is one of the last concrete circuses in Europe the future of the circus is still uncertain. There are plans to demolish the site but these plans encounter great opposition from the public. Unfortunately not everyone is convinced that the circus is worth the investment to restore and preserve it. The circus is cleaned up now, it was cleaned for the recordings of a Belgian TV show called "Man bijt hond" or "Man bites dog". One day before the cleanup of the circus I was given the chance to photograph the circus again. Now the place is too clean and doesn't even look abandoned anymore, the atmosphere has changed, but you can feel that the spirit of the circus is still there. The circus lives on, at least for now...


Wintercircus Gent - Historical images
  These unique images from the circus are from the collection of Guy Puttevils.
My thanks go to Guy Puttevils and "het huis van Alijn" for their kind permission to use this pictures on my website

More information about the circus can be found at the site of Victoria Deluxe (in Dutch)

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