Please find driving directions and map below the main text
We start this outing with a visit to a World Heritage site, which celebrates the engineering genius of the Belgians. Along the Canal du Centre were constructed between 1882 and 1917 four hydraulic boat lifts. By the 1950s transport needs had changed so much that the boat lift at Strépy was designed to raise barges, in one go, higher than the four earlier lifts put together!
We meet at that monument to modern engineering skill, the boat lift at Strépy, where we board a canal boat. The journey takes us back in time along the Canal du Centre, as we go through a lock, onto the old canal and into a C19 hydraulic boat lift. There is a commentary in French and English. After a visit to the machine room, we board a ‘road train’ which returns us to Strépy.
We then move on to the Domaine de Seneffe, with lunch in the Orangerie, followed by a guided visit to life in this beautiful C18 chateau, in Dutch and English. The building also houses the Museum of Silverware of Wallonie- Bruxelles. The core of this collection was amassed privately, donated to the public, and has since been extended by a policy of purchasing regional pieces.
Afterwards there will be time to look at an exhibition about 18thC gardens as portrayed in art, to stroll round the varied gardens of the Domaine, and/or conclude with a drink in the Orangerie.
E19 south towards Bergen/Parijs. At Junction 21 follow signs to Le Roeulx. At the roundabout take 4th exit, N55. At next roundabout 1st exit Strépy-Bracquegnies. The Strépy boat lift complex is visible in front and just to the left. Use the public car park and walk down to the Visitors Centre at the base of the structure. Directions to the Château will be given at the start of the day at Strépy.