Tour & Taxis : Warehouse B

Known locally as "the prison"

Photographed April 2000


In 1850, plans were made for the development of a multi-purpose transport center connecting the Canal of Willebroek and the international railroad network.

In 1897 the city of Brussels bought the necessary land from the "Thurn" and "Tassis" families. In 1900, King Leopold II inaugurated the construction site and operations began a few years later. The complex housed the Customs Administration, Post, a railway station and numerous companies trading goods subject to excise and revenue taxes (tobacco, beer, wine, etc.).

These trading companies acquired land in the vicinity of the transit center to provide housing for their staff. The Tour &Taxi site included several warehouses, railway infrastructure, offices, power stations, water tower, and switch tower. All of these buildings boast exceptional architectural elements and beauty!

Some buildings are still occupied. The department of Customs Administration and Excise is housed in a beautiful building that is open to the public. Other buildings, specifically the railway station, used to be easily accessible.

"Warehouse B" is a beautiful building that remains empty and locked up tight, keeping the outside world at bay. I tried to gain access for many years, in vain, adding to my frustration. Until one day I found a way in!

It would be irresponsible of me to divulge this information, for concerns that gangs would find their way in, only to destroy and tag such a beautiful, untouched sanctuary. The entrance must remain a secret.



Construction of “Warehouse B” began in 1903 and was completed in 1907, and used until 1987.
It served as a warehouse for Customs. The enormous façade is made of brick and natural stone. Ferroconcrete, iron and glass make up the structure of the building. There are five floors of galleries that encircle an atrium. Skylights on the roof allow sunlight reach the atrium floor.









“Warehouse B” is immense and symmetrical; repeating itself.

After a while you start losing track of where you have explored and what you've yet to discover... 




“Warehouse B” is still known locally as "The Prison". It was indeed used for this purpose by the Germans, during WWII...







This telephone actually functioned when I picked up the handset! I listened, heard a few clicks and immediately hung up! Imagine the newspaper headlines: "Trespasser calls fire department”!



Rest in peace, little bird, in your beautiful burial chamber.


Take the stairs to the cellar

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