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Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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  Charleroi (year-round) (Belgium)

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Charleroi, a leading cultural city

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Once an industrial city, Charleroi has transformed itself into an attractive cultural and economic city and is now the biggest metropolis in Wallonia. Cradle of the Belgian comic strip, Charleroi enjoys a rich heritage with architectural treasures in the Art Nouveau style.

Once the capital of the Black Country and one of the richest areas of the Industrial Revolution, Charleroi is now a big city in the process of full urban and environmental conversion. The many parks in Charleroi and its 62 "terrils" – slag heaps from the coal mining days - reflect this revival. Now almost entirely covered with greenery, these hills are real ecosystems that cultivate highly diverse landscapes. They have even become a walking area in which to discover wildlife and local flora.


Charleroi may be changing its face, but it hasn’t forgotten the steel, glass and coal industries that brought its prosperity! Evidence of this is the Bois du Cazier, listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 2012 and dedicated to the mining epic.


But did you know that Charleroi is also the Walloon city with the most Art Nouveau buildings? As you walk through the historic centre of Charleroi you will discover many beautiful Art Nouveau facades, such as the Maison Dorée or the Maison Lafleur. And make sure you visit the Town Hall and its belfry, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the remarkable Museum of Photography - the largest in Europe - housed in a former convent.


Charleroi is also the capital of Walloon cartoon illustration, published by Editions Dupuis. You will come across great cartoon characters, like Spirou and Fantasio, the Marsupilami, Lucky Luke, Gaston, the Smurfs, Boule and Bill or the Daltons as you stroll through the city centre or take the Carolo subway. It’s also an original way to discover the city, and its novel air tour takes visitors from a rich industrial past to rural landscapes as unusual as they are impressive.


The "Carolos" (inhabitants of Charleroi) are known for their hospitality, generosity and joy of living... which they happily share during the Mardi Gras Carnival, when "Gilles" and giants invade the city. The festivities end on Saturday with the famous Climbias fancy dress ball. Every week the Sunday market in Charleroi attracts thousands of people, sometimes from afar. Its friendly, picturesque atmosphere is not to be missed!


And if you want to take advantage of your stay in Belgium to visit Brussels, it’s an ideal opportunity, as the Belgian capital is only an hour’s drive from Charleroi!






In Charleroi

Sites and monuments

  • Town Hall and belfry.
  • Saint Christopher’s Basilica.
  • Bois du Cazier mining site.
  • Carolo Underground.



  • Museum of Photography.
  • Fine arts museum.
  • Contemporary arts centre B.P.S.22.
  • Mining museum.
  • Glass museum.
  • Museum of Industry.



  • "Terrils" trail.



Sites and monuments

  • 4 boat lifts on the Canal in the historical centre.
  • Strépy-Thieu boat lift.
  • Ronquières inclined plane.
  • Aulne Abbey.
  • Belfry and terraced gardens of Thuin.







  • Chicons (endives) au gratin.
  • Asparagus à la flamande.
  • Calf’s head "en tortue".
  • Shrimp croquettes.
  • Parmesan fondue.


Main courses

  • Mussels with chips.
  • Carbonades flamandes: beef stew simmered in beer.
  • Waterzooi of fish.
  • Stoemp (hotpot) with prunes and gueuze beer, carrots and sausages or with brussels sprouts.
  • Faro meatballs.



  • Waffles.
  • Croustilllons (deep-fried balls of sweet dough).
  • Doughnuts.
  • Pain à la grecque (with sugar and cinnamon).
  • Speculoos



  • Belgian beers.






  • February: Charleroi Carnival, Charleroi Festival of Belgian short films.
  • March: House and Gardens Fair (Charleroi).
  • April: Charleroi Easter Fair.
  • May: Charleroi 10 mile race (running race), Charleroi Pépites Festival of Performance and Encounters, Astrid Bowl Tennis Tournament (Charleroi).
  • June: Charleroi Tattoo Fair.
  • July: Madelaine procession and military march (Charleroi), International Choir Festival (Charleroi).
  • August: Charleroi August Fair.
  • September: Day of Wallonia (Charleroi).
  • October: Young people’s book fair (Charleroi), Educational Fair (Charleroi), bis-ART Festival (Charleroi).
  • November: International Homemakers Trade Show (Charleroi).
  • December: The land of Father Christmas in Charleroi.




  practical information

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+00 32

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  useful links

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