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Firstly, I'm not sure if this is the right site to ask this question, so please feel free to direct me somewhere else if needed.

Since I currently live in Brussels, I would like to visit the exact place where the band Pink Floyd recorded this video for the song Paintbox. Atomium can be seen in the background and it seems quite close to the bridge they are standing on. However, the closest canal that I could find on Google Maps is already quite far and I don't think Atomium could be seen so big from up there. I also couldn't find the bridge they are standing on. Due to the recording quality I can't really tell if this bridge is above water or maybe only above a grass field? Perhaps it's only an elevated promenade somewhere? I appreciate any clues to help me find this place :-)

17

There are no footways along the edges of the road, so it isn't a regular bridge.

Because the shadows are from the left, the location is east or south-east of the Atomium.

My guess is the "bridge" is an ornamental feature in the Royal Estate, Laeken Park, but this park has been pixellated in the Google satellite views and there is no detail to be seen.


Edit: did you also ask recently on this page?

I'm looking for information regarding the locations for the Pink Floyd promo films that were made in Belgium, 1968.

which has the following comments

I've studied all the footage, and to me it looks like the "Scarecrow" and "See Emily Play Locations" are part of the same area, and the "Paint Box" location may be above them. I can see concrete stairs in the "Emily" film that I'm guessing may lead to the "Paint Box" location.

and

Apparently, the footage is filmed on the remains of the exhibition '58, under the bridge, near the American Theatre. I've checked on google maps and it looks like the American Theatre is gone but the base is there. I can't find the bridge from the "Paint Box" film, or the oval pool with the ornament in it, as seen in the "Scarecrow" clip. I'm wondering if these 2 locations are sadly long gone.


Update: following comments and answer from @Some wandering yeti.

At the beginning of the video, you can see the alignment of the "bridge" with Atomium, specifically, with the three spheres in the layer below the single top sphere. So there are only 3 possible directions the location can be from the Atomium, and with Google Earth 3D projections I can see the most likely is from just south of east.

I can't get low enough for the right height, but this shows the angle, and the tower blocks (cropped here) are seen on the actual view.

enter image description here

So, searching for a curve of road from the maps there are two candidates, and close to one is this square, which although not the actual location is built in the similar style to the "bridge".

enter image description here

You can't see the Atomium in this view: the trees have continued to grow since 1968.

  • Interesting! I was thinking it could be that park, but I've been there recently and I don't recognise similar views. Perhaps I also try to find the blocks of flats that then should be west of Atomium. Well, it's also possible that things have changed a lot by now. Wow, the question you're referring to wasn't asked by me, what a coincidence! :) – camillejr Nov 5 at 11:31
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    I would look for the "Scarecrow" and "See Emily Play" videos too, for more clues referred to in the post. – Weather Vane Nov 5 at 11:37
  • The American Theatre still exists and could be more or less the right area. If you look on goo.gl/maps/SCNs7mJsK8s6odgs8 you have a correct looking view of the Atomium. The American Theatre is the building on the right. – Some wandering yeti Nov 5 at 16:54
  • @Somewanderingyeti interesting, and I discovered that although the satellite imagery has been pixellated, roads and paths can be seen, and selected for "street view" to wander round. – Weather Vane Nov 5 at 17:03
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    If you want non-blurred images you can use Geopunt: geopunt.be/… – Some wandering yeti Nov 5 at 17:05
17

Let me admit that the other answer by Weather Vane sent me in the right direction. The American Theatre is the right direction and that it's a good idea to look at the other video's mentioned in that post. If you look at the Scarecrow video at about 1:27 you see an overpass, which according to me is the right spot.

But such an overpass certainly doesn't exist today. My idea was to look at a map of what the area looked like during Expo '58. You can find such a map online. There is an overpass near Park Gate, between USSR and France. If you try to find old pictures of the overpass it is clear to me that this is the place you are looking for.

All this is long gone. Today the area looks like this. Nothing is left of the location. Sorry.

  • 1
    I was updating my answer when you posted so I completed it. I was coming to the same conclusion as others: it has gone. I think your answer is the right answer as you found pictures of the actual bridge and its location, – Weather Vane Nov 5 at 17:50
  • Thanks a lot for your answer! Indeed, I also searched the elements from Expo '58 and found something called the Passerel which certainly has the style of the bridge they are standing on: users.skynet.be/rentfarm/expo58/exhibition/index_bestanden/… Sad news also, but perhaps some elements still exist, I found this picture: hullabaloo.be/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/article/… I will be nearby this weekend so I try to take a closer look around :-) – camillejr Nov 5 at 18:36
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    @camillejr that last picture is in osseghem park. Here you see two bridges openstreetmap.org/#map=17/50.89552/4.34571 It is one of those two – Some wandering yeti Nov 5 at 18:51
  • @Fattie, indeed, I wonder why they destroyed many of the buildings from Expo '58 and especially that bridge which could be a nice promenade nowadays. – camillejr Nov 6 at 9:30
  • Like with many world expositions everything, including the Atomium, was meant to be temporary. – Some wandering yeti Nov 6 at 10:58
4

I'm building on the previous answers by 'Weather Vane' and 'Some wandering yeti', with some additions.

This seems to have been filmed on a pedestrian bridge that was build for the Expo '58. The bridge can be seen on this map (Marked as "OVERPASS").

A good photo of the bridge during the Expo can be seen in this Master Thesis, page 32 of the PDF. It seems most of the buildings in the picture were already removed at the time of the filming of the clip, but the round structure at the top right (the US pavilion) is still standing to this day.

If we take a close look at the map and the photo, we can see that the 'small square' that Weather Vane mentioned is not just similar in style, but actually one of the endings of the bridge that has been preserved when the rest was torn down.

This Flemish news article confirms the above. Quoting the relevant section (original in Dutch):

De luchtbrug

Over een deel van Expo 58 liep een stevige loopbrug van 450 meter lang. Alleen het begin is bewaard. De loopbrug was in het midden open en beschreef een bocht tot aan paleis Belvédère, nu de woning van koning Albert en koningin Paola, toen het hoofdkwartier van de Wereldtentoonstelling.

Na 1968 is het grootste stuk van het traject gesloopt. Vanop de luchtbrug had de toeschouwer een fantastisch uitzicht op de enorm drukbezochte paviljoenen van de Verenigde Staten, de Sovjet-Unie, het Vaticaan, Frankrijk en Parijs. Op de loopbrug stonden lichtgevende Expo-sterren, een ontwerp van Lucien De Roeck. In 1968 speelde Pink Floyd voor Tienerklanken een paar nummers op dit viaduct, net voor de afbraak.

My translation:

The air bridge

Over a part of the Expo 58 ran a sturdy walking bridge of 450 meters in length. Only the start has been preserved. The walking bridge was open in the middle and traced a curve towards the Belvédère palace, now the residence of king Albert and queen Paola, then the headquarters of the World Exposition.

After 1968 the majority of the trajectory has been torn down. From the air bridge the observer had an amazing view over the extremely well-visited pavilions of the United States, the Sovjet Union, the Vatican, France and Paris. On the walking bridge luminous Expo-stars were placed, a design from Lucien De Roeck. In 1968, Pink Floyd played a few tracks for Tienerklanken [Teenage Sounds - a Belgian television programme] on this viaduct, just before it was torn down.

  • Thanks a lot! Amazing that you could find this thesis, there are not many photos of that bridge on the internet. Wow, also the video at the bottom of the article shows the scene from the Paintbox recording :) – camillejr Nov 6 at 21:41
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    Great addition. Congratulations! – Some wandering yeti Nov 7 at 9:14

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