Once upon a time…
… in the 20’s, there was a carpenter, called Willem Klessens.
He was searching for a dance organ, and found one in Antwerp. But he could only buy this on condition that he also bought the wooden tent including.
The organ was placed in the café; the old wooden tent was stored in a hangar in the backyard.
There was a fair in the village. A lot of men came to see the five beautiful daughters and the café would become too small.
Because of this, together with the neighbours, they built up the old tent, and with a lot of success…
On one night, Willemke Klessens made much money … he had to build five roofs for this.
…There rang a bell in his head,
He finished his orders and began with the construction of a new Spiegeltent “The Classique”.
With this dance tent, made of wood, canvas and cut glass he travelled from fair to fair in the area.
His son Gust Klessens took over the business.
For more than 50 years, he was the familiar entertainment on the village fairs with his tents “Moulin Rouge” and “La Gaieté”. That’s how he obtained the name “The King of the Spiegeltent”. Meanwhile he and his wife Lucienne had already nine children.
Together with the whole family, they built up and dismantled the tents during the week. During the weekends they served at the bar.
… Thousands of footsteps on the wooden floors sprinkled with sawdust.
Tango, waltz, foxtrot, the organ followed the rhythm of the yearning hearts.
And every night there was a full moon…
The family tradition continued already!
Since 1977, the third generation, Willy Klessens, is always on the route with his nostalgic Spiegeltents
In 1993 “La Gayola” was added. Meanwhile this original Belgian Art Deco tent of 1937 had made history in Switzerland and fell back into Belgian hands. The same happened in 1995 with “Meylemans”. This Jugendstil from 1920 was originally called “Dancing Modern”, but after 77 years it was renamed “Palais Nostalgique”.
We have already built up our authentic Spiegeltents in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cannes, D…
even inAtlanta, New York, Seattle, San Francisco
& the other site of the globe Australia, New Zealand…
References all over the world.
You know, in foreign countries they had never seen Belgian Spiegeltents. People there were very impressed by the legendary Dance-tents, with their wooden floors, their leaded windows and velvet canvas. The brilliance of light in mirrors and cut glass, bring a spark of nostalgia and a lot of atmosphere on each festivity!
The Spiegeltents now have more and more success in foreign countries. For festivals, receptions, concerts, theatre, dinners and all other festivities that want to escape from the ticking of the clock.
Little festivals became big, and “Moulin Rouge” Ø18m. became too small. On request of many customers “Palais des Glaces” Ø22m. is made in own atelier by Willy himself. A magnificent jewel, we are all very proud of!
Number 6: Many times was Spiegeltent “Ideal” built up on the fairs, next to a Klessens Spiegeltent. The Laurijssen Family knows that “Ideal” would be in good hands at us, that’s why they asked us in 2000 if we want to buy their Spiegeltent. We’re very happy with the Art-Nouveau Spiegeltent °1948, hand made by five brothers; four carpenters & an engineer.
A separate Story:
1990-1997: The Spiegeltent “Classique” made by Willem Klessens in 1926 burned down… a disaster; Father Klessens, almost 70 years old, can’t leave without a Spiegeltent. That’s why he started with the construction of a new Spiegeltent. He worked on it, together with his wife for more than seven years. It has to be ready till their ‘golden wedding’. And yes, onFebruary 6, 1997, together with the whole family we have had a fantastic party in their Spiegeltent!
Pa & ma, 4 sons & 5 daughters,
19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren …
In between, five years have elapsed, the Spiegeltent with Decap organ was just built up in their garden. But that is to say; weather and wind is not good, and father wants to build his life’s work inside in our hangar. He also wants to keep it in the family, therefore the move to Rijkevorsel.
Go back in time, with the people at that time
… and their descendants,
back to the good old days…
Nostalgie Number 8: from April, 2002 in our garden; Spiegeltent “Classic” Open for public on Sunday from 13.30, with Decap-organ and/or live-music
Meanwhile the fourth generation, Tom and Johnny, have got the microbe too. Together they want to continue the family business.
And look … a ray of sunshine, tumbles in trough the colourful leaded glass.
And reflects in the cut mirrors at least a thousand times…
You are lost … this is not an illusion…
It is like a fairy tale … everything twinkles…
Just start by looking in the mirror. Can you see it?
You are already at the party with us…
Up to the fifth generation…
♂ ELIAS Klessens °03 July 2003, just 2,850kg but ’well-muscled’
♂ YNEAS °30 September 2004
♂ LAURENS °30 November 2005
♂ RHENO °11 February 2006
♀ RENSKE °21 August 2008
♀ JITSE °10 April 2011
♂ AXEL °20 January 2013
to be continued …