Charleroi's Unexpected Attraction

When we told people we were going to Charleroi for the day, the most common response was simply, "why?"  No matter how hard we tried to explain our intentions, we were met with confused faces and furrowed brows.  

Charleroi, a city about an hour south of Brussels, is not exactly the most popular destination for tourists and Belgians alike.  Located in a coal basin in Wallonia, Charleroi became an economic powerhouse during the Industrial Revolution.  Production of glass, coal and metallurgy attracted workers from all over Europe for the possibility of riches.  However, as new, more efficient forms of energy were discovered, the once prosperous industries of Charleroi declined with plants closing one after the other. 

While the industrial yet decrepit city might not be high on most must-visit lists, it offers one of the most incredible, unexpected sights you can imagine.  If you've taken the train from Paris to Brussels you've probably seen the outside of it.  Just inside  Charleroi's industrial district, one of the last coal burning power plants closed in 2007 because of its harmful effects on the environment and was left abandoned.  

Since then, the cooling tower has become overgrown, creating a beautiful juxtaposition between nature and its destroyer.  If you are looking for a draw-dropping environment and you are a little adventurous, Charleroi's abandoned power plant is the place to be.

you may also love...

  • Reading Between The Lines

  • Villa ARRA

  • City Hall Interior

  • Okinaha