Belgium

Le Bois du Cazier




‘The past, the present for the future’

In the south of Charleroi, at the gateway to the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse region, the Bois du Cazier has become a place of life and meetings set against a background of industrial heritage. Nestling in the hollow of a setting of greenery, this architectural whole, crowned by two headframes, is encircled by three spoilheaps, which are ideal place for walks.

From the industrial revolution . . .

Because coal was the main source of energy in the 19th century, the Charleroi area became a very important industrial region, the "Black Country". The Bois du Cazier Colliery was established in 1822 during the Dutch government.

. . .  to the tragedy of Marcinelle

The morning of the 8th August 1956, a great fire that originated in one of the pits engulfed the whole mine taking the lives of 262 miners of 12 different nationalities. Of the dead, 95 were Belgian and 136 Italian.

Since then, a ceremony has been held every year on the date of the anniversary of the disaster. The Bois du Cazier also belongs to the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

Today

Property of the Walloon Region and managed by a non-profit organization, the former colliery became a major cultural site. Restored thanks to the European Union and the Walloon Region, the Bois du Cazier preserves the memory of the miners, their working conditions and immigration, together with the economic, social and technical history. Three spaces are devoted to coal, steel and glass.

One of the major coal-mining sites of the region of Wallonia, the Bois du Cazier was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2012. Opened to the public since 2002, it welcomes annually about 50,000 visitors.


CONTACTS

Address: Rue du Cazier 80, 6001 Charleroi, Belgium
Phone: +32 71 88 08 56
www.leboisducazier.be