Please find driving directions below the main text
Bank account of “National Trust Belgium” (NTAB)
BE17 0016 2443 2021
On 18 November, we will visit Charleroi, one of the cities where the industrial revolution in Wallonia took off, resulting in a boom of the iron, coal and glass industry and in the first influx of Italian immigrants; a city also where the industrial revolution left its dramatic mark after the mining disaster of 8 August 1956. We will visit different sites that are inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Our programme will start at 10.30 with a visit of the majestic Town Hall, a mix of Classical and Art Deco style, a masterpiece of architect Jules Cézar (yes, indeed!). We will be guided through the building with its majestic staircase, long corridors, beautiful bas reliefs and will have the opportunity to admire the impressive early 20th century Belfry, which is inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The city architect will welcome us and give a talk on the main architectural styles in Charleroi, as a result of its emergence as an important industrial center and during its current ‘renouveau’.
After visiting the town hall and the nearby Basilique St.Christophe, we drive to the former mining site Bois du Cazier in Marcinelle, one of the suburbs of Charleroi (a 20 minute drive). The site is also on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
After lunch on site at the EMOCION restaurant, we will first visit the Memorial of the 8 August 1956 disaster. The visit will provide us an insight in the different aspects of the history of the mining industry in Belgium and the ensuing immigration.
The site has also two museums: the Industry Museum shows the Industrial Revolution through its main fields of activities and the changing status of the working class, whereas the beautiful Glass Museum has both archeological, 19th century and contemporary collections. Throughout the visit we will also hear some references to Britain.
Our programme ends at 16.30, but participants wishing to stay on will be allowed to do so after the normal closing hour of the site (17.30).
Charleroi is about 1:15h from Brussels, by car (65-70km) or by train (from Brussels South Station)
Please contact the organizer if you need or offer carpooling, either from the Brussels region or from Charleroi South station.
The square in front of the town hall is currently a construction site. You can park in the adjacent streets. We will send participants a street map with directions.