Val Saint Lambert

Christallerie Val Saint Lambert is an abandoned chrystal factory in Belgium. The factory was founded in 1826 at the former Cistercian Abbey of Saint-Lambert. The abbey was founded in 1202 and closed in 1796 to make place for the crystal factory some 30 years later.

Val Saint Lambert drew a lot of attention during the World Exhibition in Antwerp in 1894, with their Vase of the Nine Provinces. This vase is 2.25 meters tall, weighs 200 kilos and includes 82 crystal parts. This vase Val Saint Lambert has forever put on the map as a global brand.

In the timespan from 1900 to 1925 (with a shutdown of the factory during the First World War), Val Saint Lambert created two crystal chandeliers for the hall of the Maharaja Palace Gwalior in India. With a weight of 3,5 tons and a height of 13 meters, they are the world’s largest crystal chandeliers. By 1926, when the factory had its 100th anniversary, it employed over 5000 employees.

However, after years of financial uncertainty in the 1930’s, the crystal factory was badly hit by bombing during the Second World War, which led to structural financial problems. Val Saint Lambert managed to overcome those problems and is still producing crystal today.

Some of the buildings of the old factory were left abandoned for years, so I freely used them as subject for a photo coverage: