Bois du Cazier

Charleroi, Belgium

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

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

victoria nyaga (7 months ago)
We spent most of the day here as there was so much to see. I loved the narrative guide; it was like a conversation between a lady and a gentleman personas who worked in the mine, so I found it alive and captivating.
3N0 (7 months ago)
We spent 5 hours (incl restaurant on the site). The place is very big and very interesting. It is very recommended, also with kids.
Vin Chenzo (9 months ago)
Excellent museum well worth visiting. It teaches you a lot about the industrial revolution and mining in this area and is very in depth with sub museums also inside such as a glass museum. The staff speak good English and the displays also are in perfect English. I spent 2 hours here so this is highly recommended. Free entry also.
Martin Maryas (10 months ago)
All of us should see such places to understand "how did we get to this point of civilization", blood and tears of miners
Marek Sopko (15 months ago)
Excellent! Excellent! the parking lot was full so we parked in a nearby street, the entrance fee is valuable, kind staff speaks English, toilets are for free, the area is quite large, we walked independently with an electronic guide, many exhibits are related to mines and coal, machines, industry, electricity, short the film shows the history of the mine and industry and the minning accident, everywhere was clean, the spaces for visitors are outside and inside, you can spend about 2-3 hours there, interesting even for children, there is a cafe and a restaurant, I highly recommend it!
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