The Bois du Cazier was coal mine in Marcinelle, Charleroi. It was the scene of a mining disaster on 8 August 1956, when 263 men including 136 migrant Italian labourers lost their lives. The site today hosts a woodland park, memorial to the miners, the pit head, an industry museum and a glass museum. The museum is an Anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

A concession to mine was given by royal decree on 30 September 1822. A transcription error caused the name of the site to be changed from Bois de Cazier. There were two shafts reaching 765 et 1035 mètres. A third shaft, 'Foraky', was being dug in 1956. At that time (1955), annual production was 170,557 tonnes for a total of 779 workers, many of whom were not Belgian but migrant workers principally from Italy. On the 8 August 1956, a fire destroyed the mine. Full production resumed the following year. The company was liquidated in January 1961, and the mine closed in December 1967.

There is a memorial wall to the disaster and a museum of mining and heavy industry. A workshop explains the art of metal forging. Around the two puits (shafts) the site has been landscaped- allowing views from the slag heaps over Charleroi.

Bois du Cazier is one of coal mines described as UNESCO World Heritage Site of Major Mining Sites of Wallonia.

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Founded: 1822
Category: Industrial sites in Belgium

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Fonte (3 years ago)
Nice nature place and a interesting museum ...
Ovidiu SIMINA (4 years ago)
Interesting mining experience
Alberto Munoz (4 years ago)
A former coal mine, unfortunately it the pits are not open for visits, only the buildings overground. The glass museum is very good and interesting.
jesús calvo (4 years ago)
Excelente for a walk, for a run. There are some playground also for children
Daniel Simons (4 years ago)
Poignant memorial and excellent museum with explanations in French, English, Italian and Dutch
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