Located at the exit of a passage from the Stock exchange, this church is a Neo Classical building, inspired by the Parthenon in Athens, and it was built in 1830.
It has many paintings and sculptures inside.
I think that Montagne street is one of the two biggest commercial streets in Charleroi. Linking the high city with the low one, it has lots of history, but, we couldn't appreciate it because it was suffering hard work being almost impossible to circulate.
There were no works inside H&M so... you know!
One of the older streets in Charleroi, is still beautiful. from it still start the stairs that once led to the castle, and where teh woekers dried their wools. However, the general look is modern, and commerce spreads along it.
On Place Charles stands the Basilica of Saint Christophe. It was first built in 1667, enlarged in 1723, and then dedicated to Saint Christopher (initially Siant Louis). In 1956, architect Joseph André renovated the whole church and only the chancel remains from the original.
Open in 1893 in the location of an old convent,this commercial structure has the the typical look of the "Belle Époque", in a No-classical style using stone and iron. The shops still show the original wooden doors.
Fortunately, they were closed when we passed, and we could proceed...
Built during the kingdom of Louis XIV, this french chapel was part of a hospital in the opposite side of the river. Sold to a particular, it was demolished, but people didn't accept, due to the devotion to the saint. It was then reconstructed in 1818 close to the actual place, and finally moved t the actual location in 1897
We saw no many gardens in Charleroi but this seems to be the most central and big. Built in 1882 following English pattern, it has some statues (including he queen, of course and... Lucky Luke) and is dominated by a central band stand, very useful to a minutes of practice for a couple that would compete in next day world championship, in Mons. Not nervous, however, with tranquility enough to appreciate the soft colours of autumn.
Why is this modern and beautiful belfry considered World Heritage by UNESCO?
Built in 1936 it is 70 meters high, in white and blue stone it is really elegant, in its combination of art deco and classicism, but... Why?
Integrated in City Hall, it seems to have independent life, playing regularly each fifteen minutes, but... why?
Well, Wikipedia came to help me:
"The Belfries of Belgium and France is a group of 56 historical buildings designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, in recognition of an architectural manifestation of emerging civic independence in historic Flanders and neighbouring regions from feudal and religious influences, leading to a degree of local democracy of great significance in the history of humankind."
OK! It's the history, not the architecture... I accept!
The basilica is also situated on the Place Charles II, almost opposite the Town Hall. It was built at the end of the 17th century, in baroque style. Before, the basilica was a church, it became a basilica only in 1950.
This statue can be found on a little square on the Boulevard Audent. It represents Jules Destrée, a famous Walloon politician who played an important role in the region of Charleroi. If you want to know more about this person, you can visit the museum dedicated to him, in the town hall on the Place Charles II.
The jumping fountains, the great cathedral, and the art deco town hall with it's beffroi, that is what you see here in the heart of Charleroi. The great sunday market eminates from here, and on those days you can smell roast chicken wafting down the streets. Makes a change from when there was dogpoo everywhere...
What's to see in Charleroi? Phew...not much. If you're into it, the Museum of Photography is meant to be good, as is the Museum of Glass. The Palais des Expositions holds some of Belgium's best exhibitions, and there are always good concerts at the Palais des Beaux Arts (pictured). But best of all is the Station, Charleroi Sud, because by going here you can leave and visit other more interesting places.
Marcinelle, a small village in the suburbs of Charleroi, is the comic strip centre of Belgium. Therefore, you can find some statues of 'comic strip celebrities' on strategic places in Charleroi.
This one can be found at the entrance of the Astrid Park, the green lung of Charleroi.
The Palace of fine Arts (Palais des Beaux Arts) is to be found on the Place du Manège. It is a concert and theater hall.
On the Place du Manège and the surrounding streets, you'll find a lot of restaurants and pubs.
If you're descending l'Avenue de L'Europe, you'll arrive at the "Palais des Expositions", another hall that is used for events, expositions, conferences, ...
You can admire this statue on the bridge from the station to the city centre (Place Buisset)
It represents a miner. Charleroi and surroundings has been a very important mine region in the 19th and first half of the 20th century.
On the other side of the bridge there is a similar statue of a blacksmith.