Brik Boom

Brik Boom

From brickworks to visitor experience centre

Noeveren 67
2850 Boom
+32 3 888 15 58

Brik Boom (formerly the EMABB) pays tribute to the successful brick-making industry that brought prosperity to the region for years. The visitor centre is housed in the buildings of Novobric, once a brick factory. 

It is located in the middle of the former labourers' district Noeveren, that even today is still characterised by typical workers' homes that give this district its unique appearance. Did you know that the village of Noeveren is protected heritage? It's lovely to wander round here for a while. The unique industrial-archaeological complex defines the spirit of the neighbourhood, with the peacefully flowing Rupel in the background.

Arbeidershuisjes EMABB
Fietsen Noeveren schoorsteen

A unique region

The history of Rupel region still visible in the streets today. The Rupel villages are characterised by narrow alleys and typical small houses, all direct descendants of the days when life followed the rhythm of the brick factories. Clay excavation and the production of bricks, roof tiles and tiles shaped the landscape. 

Many chimneys tower above the Rupel, the smoke could be seen in Brussels – 30 kilometres away. Thousands of workers went to work before daybreak to create bricks that were known worldwide. 

Sint-Bernardusabdij Hemiksem.jpg

A long history filled with craftsmanship

That story began as early as the 13th century in St Bernard's abbey in Hemiksem, when the Bernardine monks developed the first Paepesteen. The bricks were popular with the farming population, who turned it into a profitable business alongside their daily activities. 

Yet it was not all rose scented. After prosperity came hardship. Yet the Rupel region picked itself up again, aided by its favourable location along the water. Thanks to this strategically placed river, the products could be shipped easily all over the country. 

Ringoven EMABB.jpg

A fascinating collection

If you think that you'll only be immersed in the world of bricks and clay at Brik Boom, then you're wrong! Of course, there is a fascinating collection taking you through the history of the brick industry – housed in unique surroundings. You literally walk through the industrial heritage. 

But the industries that were attracted by the successful economy are also highlighted. Metal companies, shipyards, glass factories, breweries, diamond cutters… They all contributed to the unique history of this beautiful region.

Filmvertoning EMABB Boom
Arbeidershuisje EMABB Boom

The definitive decline

Most brick factories went bankrupt between 1975 and 1985. That naturally had a huge impact on the region. This challenge was great, but fortunately the proud inhabitants reinvented the Rupel region. They focused their attention on the future and today they promote their industrial heritage as a tourist attraction – and quite right too.

Cafe de Koophandel Boom
Café de Koophandel in Boom

Cleverly narrated in Brik Boom

In Brik Boom you find out all about it. You find facts and figures, along with fascinating tales from workers and craftsmen. You make acquaintance with daily life in the days of the brick factories. And admire the craftsmanship that rolled out of the ovens day after day.

If you want to take stock after visiting Brik Boom, pop into Café De Koophandel not far away. It's in a typical labourer's home as you can only find in Noeveren – close to Brik Boom.

EMABB Boom 3 - Mie De Backer.jpg

Plan your visit

Visit Brik Boom right away. On the website of the visitor centre you can find all information to plan your visit.