Hidden Belgium: Barista coffee at the explosives factory

Hidden Belgium: Barista coffee at the explosives factory

Vilvoorde has lost most of its industrial heritage, but one former factory is still standing next to the canal.

The Kruitfabriek stands on the site of a 19th-century factory that made explosives. During the First World War, the German army used it as a munitions dump. After the war, a massive blast reduced the building to rubble.

The Kruitfabriek lay abandoned for many years, but reopened in 2014 as a cultural centre. It is now occupied by a circus workshop, music school, bike workshop and craft space. There is also a sustainable coffee roastery and bar called Gayo Coffee Factory (open Friday to Sunday).

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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