By Johnny Roberts,2014-09-03 11:46
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     - 4 KM - 2 h


    The Charleroi region, as you have never seen it before!


    On the move all summer!

    In BRUSSELS, from 25 June to 3 September, the “Tourism and Gastronomy" exhibition will offer you a

    chance to discover the many assets and treasures of Wallonia. Every two weeks, one Province will be given

    pride of place. However, we know there’s nothing like getting out and about if you’re looking for an in-

    depth experience, so why not try one of our “Gastronomic Treasure Trails"?

    All the treasure trails are free and available from 25 June to 16 September 2012, (except for the Charleroi

    Pays de Geminiacum Treasure Trail). Simply turn up on one of the dates mentioned below and enjoy a

    delicious free welcome treat to send you on your way!

Province of Walloon Brabant

    NIVELLES Along the streets On foot Free breakfasts on Sundays 1 and

    8 July Rural excursion By bicycle

    Rural excursion in the “Roman Païs” By car

    Province of Liège

    LIEGE The historic centre of Liège On foot Free breakfasts on Saturdays 14

     and 21 July An encounter with Tchantchès and On foot


    EUPEN The Eastern Cantons: nature, lakes and By car Free breakfasts on Sundays 15

    regional specialities and 22 July

    Province of Namur

    NAMUR Namur for the inquisitive and for On foot Free breakfasts on Wednesdays 1

    gourmets and 8 August

    Castles, vineyards and farms around By car


    Province of Hainaut

    CHARLEROI The Charleroi region, as you have never On foot Free breakfasts on Saturdays 11

     seen it before! and 18 August

     Regional products and heritage in the By bicycle

     “Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse” or car

     Pays de Geminiacum treasure trail By car or Treasure trail available only on

     bicycle Wednesdays 15 and 22 August

     Heritage, Tourism and Gastronomy at On foot Free breakfasts on Saturday 11 MONS the heart of Mons August Free afternoon snacks

     on Saturday 18 August

     From the “Château Montois” to By car Free breakfasts on Saturday 11

     “Caillou-qui-bique” August

     From “Caillou-qui-bique” to the By car Free afternoon snacks on “Château Montois” Saturday 18 August TOURNAI The historic heart of Tournai On foot Free breakfasts on Saturdays 11

    and 18 August Landscapes of the Escaut plain By car

    Province of Belgian Luxembourg Free breakfasts on Saturday 25 ARLON A small breath of Arlon air On foot August and Sunday 2 September

    A large breath of Arlon air On foot

    INFORMATION: Freephone: 0800 11901 (in French)

    or 0800 11902 (in German)


    Travel to the starting points of our treasure trails with a “Weekend” ticket, which offers you a 50%

    discount on the price of a return journey by train.

    If you are doing one of the treasure trails on a weekday in July and August, opt for the “Summer”

    ticket which also offers you discount on the price of a return journey by train.

    For more information, visit



    Discovering Wallonia, from Tournai to Eupen, from Nivelles to Arlon...

Does the summer sunshine make you want to get out and about?

    Starting at the Espaces Wallonie, roads, streets, paths and tracks will lead you over hills and down valleys to discover the treasures of Wallonia. Heritage, gastronomy, landscapes and outstanding historic sites - there is something for everyone.

    To ensure all participants, especially the gourmets, get off to the best of starts with a full stomach, free breakfasts or afternoon snacks will be available on certain days.

    And, before starting your trails, why not find out more about the wealth of services offered by the Espaces

    Wallonie: from information about housing to debt conselling, from Equal Opportunities to the regional, federal and community mediation services, plus a range of regional publications and exhibitions. In short, a modern administration, close to your needs and ready to answer all your questions. But, enough said, now it’s time to get on your bicycle, pull on your walking boots, or climb inro your car and take to the road...


    for those who enjoy a challenge...

    The guide to each treasure trail includes a set of questions. Write your answers in the spaces provided, drop it off at the Espace Wallonie reception or letterbox when you have finished and you

    could win a prize!


Every month:

    A gourmet basket worth ?60 will be awarded to the first correctly completed answer form pulled out of the hat at the end of July, end of August and end of Septembe in each participating Espace Wallonie.

    (Except for the Pays de Geminiacum treasure trail, where the prize draws will be held on 15 and 22 August only for a gourmet basket worth ?50).

On the days when free breakfasts or afternoon snacks are offered (see table)

    A voucher worth ?150 for accommodation in Wallonia.

    The prize draws will take place on the first working day following these days. Two free return tickets for second-class travel on Belgian railways offered by SNCB Belgian Railways. The prize draws will take place on the first working day following these days.

    Prize winners will be informed by email, telephone or post.

    Will you be the “Gourmet treasure trail (wo)man” of the summer?

    There will be another prize draw for a special prize for participants who submit

    completed questionnaires for at least one treasure trail per province between 25 June and 16 September. To enter this draw, please ask for your entries to be validated at each Espace Wallonie.

    The prize is a voucher worth ?500 for accommodation in Wallonia and the draw will be held at the end of September.



    The Charleroi region, as you have never seen it before!


    Free breakfast on Sundays 11 and 18 August 2012, from 9am to 10am at the ESPACE WALLONIE DE CHARLEROI, 3, Rue de France, 6000 CHARLEROI.

    On these days, final departure at 4 pm. Answer forms must be placed in the box at the Espace Wallonie before 6 pm.

    Guided treasure trails at 11am and 3pm

    This treasure trail is free of charge and is open to all from 25 June to 16 September

Treasure trail on foot

    Time: about 2 hours

    Distance: about 4 km

    Accessible by accompanied reduced-mobility participants

    Starting from the Espace Wallonie in Charleroi, visit the historic centre of the city and find out more about the places which have contributed to making it what it is today, such as St Christopher’s church with its magnificent mosaics by Jean Ransy,

    the Town Hall and its belfry (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and many more. The trail also suggests places where you can taste some local specialities and visit some unique sites.


From Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 5pm


    Tel: +32 (0)71 206 080, e-mail:

At weekends


    Tel: +32 (0)71 861 414, e-mail:


    If you would like to follow the treasure trail in a group of more than 10 people, please inform us in advance by e-mail or telephone.


    Charleroi, as you have never seen it before!

    This treasure trail will show you the centre of Charleroi, which used to be a fortified city. While walking around the historic city centre, you will discover some of the secrets of this relatively unknown and astonishing place. Discover the streets built in different eras and meet the many different people who have each, in their own way, contributed to creating our history, our present and our future.

N.B: On Sundays, the large weekly market takes over the streets of the Ville Haute

    (Upper City) until about 2 pm, and cars are prohibited.

Start the treasure trail at the Espace Wallonie at 3, Rue de France on weekdays. At weekends, walk 50m to

    the Maison du Tourisme du Pays de Charleroi in the Place Charles II to start the treasure trail.

Question 1: What unusual object is displayed in the Espace Wallonie’s window?

Turn right as you leave the Espace Wallonie. On your left, you will see a small square with a statue by the

    famous Charleroi sculptor Alphonse Darville (1910-1990), paying tribute to his teacher, Victor Rousseau (1865-1954). Darville started off working in the Classical style, and later changed to a more contemporary style, after trying his hand at Expressionism and Surrealism. He wrote a famous book on absolute beauty and his sculptures were inspired by Classical mythology and Italy.

    Question 2: Of what institition was Alphonse Darville the founder in 1946, and the Director until 1972?

Walk down Rue de France and stop outside N?31, the Maison de la Laïcité de Charleroi (Charleroi Layman’s

    Centre), which was where the Free-thinkers movement was founded as the result of a meeting between middle-class Rationalists and working-class militants.

Question 3:

    a) Who became the owner of this building in 1893?

    b) What event was organised there for the first time in 1898?

Walk along the street to the Boulevard de l’Yser, then turn left and walk to the former Maison du Peuple

    (People’s Palace) which is now the Eldo Gallery. The Maison du Peuple housed the headquarters of the

    Socialist Party and also a meeting hall and advice centre for working-class people. For many years it was the “headquarters” of Jules Destrée, whose statue stands at the crossroads.

    Question 4: In which year did Jules Destrée set up the Charleroi International Exhibition?

    Turn right down the Rue de la Montagne, then right again down the Rue de Dampremy.

    Question 5: At the end of this street, on your right, you will see one of the last remains of the fortress of Charleroi. What is its name?


Turn left opposite these remains. Set back from the street on your left is the tiny St Fiacre’s chapel, the

    third chapel to stand on this site. The locals used to pray to the saint to protect them during epidemics of dysentery.

    Question 6: One of the chapels was demolished to make way for another building. Which building?

    Turn left along the Boulevard Tirou, which was originally the bed of the River Sambre. It was filled in and turned into the shopping street that we see today.

Question 7:

    a) In what year was the bed of the River Sambre filled in?

    b) Who inaugurated the Boulevard Tirou?

    Cross the Boulevard Tirou and walk along the right-hand pavement. Turn right down the alleyway leading to the Place Albert 1er, then cross the square and keep to the right. Turn onto the Rue de Marchienne and stop outside St Anthony’s church, which was built in 1829. Its Neo-Classical facade was inspired by an Ancient Greek temple and it contains paintings by François-Joseph Navez and his son-in-law Jean Portaels. Next to the church is the Passage de la Bourse, built in 1890 at the heart of the Ville basse ((Lower Town),

    and now home to many up-market shops. The shops in this arcade were built on the site of a Carthusian monastery, which had stood there since the fortress was built and which was used as a hospital during sieges.

    Question 8: In 1803, which public building moved into the monastery?

    Go past the entrance to the Passage de la Bourse, then turn left onto the Rue du Collège and walk along the street to the Place Buisset. At N?2 Place Buisset used to be the Cabaret Vert, a bar where the famous poet

    Arthur Rimbaud wrote several poems in 1870. Opposite, you will see the King Baudouin bridge, on which are two statues which refer to Charleroi’s glorious past, a miner and a blacksmith.

Question 9: Who sculpted these two statues?

    Under the bridge flows the diverted River Sambre, which was key to the region’s economic development. In 1829, it was the first river in Belgium to be made navigable by barges along its entire length. On the other side of the river you can see Charleroi-South railway station, built in an eclectic style in bluestone. Dating from 1874, parts of it are reminiscent of the Gare de l’Est in Paris. A major restoration was completed in


    Continue across the Place Buisset and then turn left onto the Quai de Brabant, then turn left down the Rue des Ateliers. Cross the Rue Léopold and continue straight ahead along the Rue des Trois Pistolets. At the end of the street on your right, you will find La Quille, a bistro with a great atmosphere that has several

    local specialities on its menu.



    La Quille 33, Rue de Marcinelle

    Make your way through this very long bistro, passing other customers who are leaning against the bar or playing cards or dice. At the rear of the room, there used to be a bowling alley where people played skittles (quilles), which explains the bistro’s name. This padrî (“backroom” in the local dialect) has been converted

    into a very pleasant restaurant, which serves simple but tasty food, made using fresh local produce. Philippe, the boss, runs the front-of-house and his wife runs the kitchen: a combination which works very well. She only uses top-quality ingredients, so you will never be offered something run-of-the-mill. Philippe will be delighted to suggest beers or wines to accompany your meal.



    N.B.: The restaurant will be closed from 5 to 31 July and on Sundays and public holidays.

    Opposite La Quille are four Art Nouveau houses (N?s 34 to 40 Rue de Marcinelle) by the architect Zacharie Clercx. Do a u-turn and go back down the Rue de Marcinelle towards the Place Albert 1er. At N?21, the eighteenth-century facade of the Institut Notre-Dame is one of the most beautiful in Charleroi. N?5 is an Art

    Nouveau house built in 1908 to the design of the architect Raoul Taburiaux, and its façade is decorated with sgraffiti by Paul Cauchie.

    At the end of the street, turn right onto the Boulevard Tirou. On the corner is the Molière Bookshop, in a building surmounted by a bell tower, which was originally the Post Office, completed in 1907 with a Flemish Neo-Classical facades. At the roundabout at the end of the boulevard, turn left onto the Rue du Pont-Neuf and continue to the Rond-point des Sciences roundabout, opposite the Queen Astrid Park The roundabout

    is decorated with symbols of local businesses.

    Question 10: What are the names of the scientists from Charleroi depicted on the roundabout?

    Walk straight ahead along the Rue Willy Ernst which runs along the edge of side the park to the statue of Lucky Luke and the Parc metro station.

    Question 11: When were the frescos which decorate the metro station painted?

    Go into the Queen Astrid Park and walk up to the bandstand. This is one of the few remaining structures built during the so-called Belle Epoque (1890-1914) when the middle classes of the city moved out to the

    boulevards, where facilities such as parks, theatres, art galleries and meeting-halls were built for them. On the right is the statue of François-Joseph Navez, a famous local Neo-Classical painter.


Question 12: How old was FJ Navez when he died?

    Pass the bandstand on your right-hand side and leave the park, turning right then left onto the Rue du Parc, then right onto the Boulevard A. de Fontaine.

On the corner of the Rue Tumelaire is the Maison Dorée (Gilded House), one of the most beautiful Art

    Nouveau buildings in Charleroi, and currently home to the Maison de la Presse (journalists’ club).

     It was commissioned from the architect Albert Frère by a rich local glass manufacturer called Adolphe Chausteur in 1899. Its façade is decorated with coloured bricks and a gilded sgraffito panel, which gives the building its nickname. Although the buiding is relatively Classical in form, the colours used in the stained glass and sgraffito panel are uniquely magnificent. The sgraffito and wrought-ironwork use many stylised plant and flower motifs as you would expect in the Art Nouveau period. The building’s crowning glory is

    the magnificent sgraffito panel covered with intertwined stylised plants and flowers around a central letter C (no doubt for Chauster).

    The rest of the facade is a support for this panel. The sgraffito frieze below the cornice depicts more floral motifs. Chausteur had his house’s many stained-glass windows made in his factory: their blend of colours is very delicate, and some of them are made of opalescent glass, whose colour varies according to the intensity of the light.

    Continue along the Boulevard A. de Fontaine on the right-hand pavement and pass the Law Courts. Turn right just before the well-known statues of two lions, known locally as Totor and Tutur, which originally

    decorated the staircase of the Law Courts. Opposite the junction with the Avenue Général Michel are the stndTrésignies barracks, completed in 1882, which were home to the 1 and 2 Rifle Regiments until 1976.

    The barracks are built in the traditional U-shape around a courtyard, screened from the street with a brick wall and a Mediaeval-style gatehouse dating from 1887. This style has been used for many military buildings in Belgium, as it symbolises military power and strength. The barracks gate is flanked by two square towers, and the barracks boasts other Mediaeval-style details: battlements on the walls, corner towers, archery loopholes, a parapet and high base courses on its walls. The gatehouse and its towers were listed in 1979.

    Question 13: What was the rank of Léon Trésignies, the Second World War hero?

    Continue along the boulevard until you come to the statues of the strip-cartoon character Spirou, with his friend Fantasio and his faithful pet Spip.

    Spirou’s adventures, like those of many other characters, are published by Dupuis, the huge international publishing house based in Marcinelle near Charleroi. Go into the Janson metro station to see more Dupuis characters: Spirou, Gaston Lagaffe, the Smurfs, Tif & Tondu, etc. Leave the station by the exit on the other side, where you emerge onto the Boulevard Zoë Drion, opposite the Pays de Charleroi Stadium, home to

    the Royal Charleroi Sporting Club football team.

Walk to the roundabout where you will find Boule & Bill, dressed in the football team’s strip.

    Turn right onto the Boulevard Joseph II, then go behind the stadium along the Rue de la Neuville.

At N?14 is the headquarters of the Walloon Produce Office, which works to promote Walloon produce and

    helps Walloon farmers to promote themselves.




    Question 14:

    In the window of the Walloon Produce Office is a basket filled with delicious local products. How much do you think the the produce in the basket is worth? (retail price to the nearest eurocent) The person whose guess is nearest to the actual price will win the basket at the end of September.

Turn left up the street and then right and walk to the Square Yernaux, better known as the Marsupilami

    roundabout. Opposite is the building housing the Université du Travail (Workers’ University), founded in

    1903 by Paul Pastur to offer social and industrial vocational training to young people. Today it is attended by more than 10,000 students.

    Pass the university and then turn onto the Boulevard G. Roullier. Cross the Rue Langlois and continue along the pedestrianised street. The oldest of the university’s buildings was built to the designs of the architect

    Dumont in 1908. Its entrance hall is decorated with superb Art Nouveau stained-glass windows. Slightly further on is the Solvay Contemporary Arts College for the Province of Hainaut.

Continue straight ahead along the Boulevard Solvay to N? 7, the Maison Lafleur, which was built in 1908 in

    the Vienna Secessionist style, which was inspired by Art Nouveau designers such as Paul Hankar. The trapezoid windows over the doors and windows depict naked women with flowers running down their backs in a very stylised manner.

    The modern, contemporary-style extension has been set back from the original facade in order not to spoil the coherence of its overall effect.

Continue straight ahead to the roundabout near the Palais des Beaux-Arts where you will see the huge

    bronze sculpture Aux mains tendues (In the Outstretched Hands) by Martin Guyaux. Continue along the

    Boulevard Jacques Bertrand opposite, passing the Place du Manège on your left.

; At 68, Boulevard Bertrand is the bistro La Cuve à Bière which serves a wide selection of local beers to

    accompany food made using fresh local produce.

Go back to the Place du Manège and then turn right towards the Town Hall.

Question 15: How high is the Town Hall’s belfry?

    Built of brick and bluestone and topped with white stone, this, the most recent of the Civic Belfries in Wallonia, houses, below its small bronze steeple, a carillon of 47 bells, weighing almost 13 tonnes in total. On each side of the belfry tower is a clock face 2m in diameter, displaying the time to the city’s inhabitants.


    Every 15 minutes, the carillon plays different tunes based on local folk melodies arranged by Jacques Bertrand:

    On the hour: sixty bars of “Pays de Charleroi”.

    On the half-hour: forty bars of “Lolotte”

    At quarter-past the hour: ten bars of “Skeusè l’feu, Zabèle”

    At quarter-to the hour: ten bars of “El quézène au Mambourg”

    On 2 December 1999, the Belfry was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with 29 other civic belfries in Belgium and France.

Turn left on to the Rue du Beffroi and then left again onto the Rue Turenne.

At N?2 is the old Maison du Bailli, which was restored in 2003 and is the best remaining civil building from

    the era when the city was fortified. Divided into two houses in the nineteenth century, it has since reverted to a single building with one entrance and many of its original features have been restored, such as the stucco, symmetrical facade, the pronounced alignment of the door, the dressed stone base course and the stone ornamentation around the doorway. Above the door is a semi-circular arch, surmounted by a panel decorated with a crown and a garland bearing the date 1870.

Question 16: This building was originally built to house the Bailli.

    What was his job?

    Continue to the Place Charles II, named after the King of Spain. It used to be the central parade ground of the hexagonal fortress, laid out in 1666 on top of a small hill overlooking the River Sambre. In the late twentieth century it became a traffic roundabout and car park, before being restored in the 1990s, when its original hexagonal shape was once again revealed. Two remarkable buildings overlook the square: the Town Hall and St Christopher’s basilica church.

In the nineteenth century, Charleroi became the capital of the Belgian Pays noir (Black Country) dominated

    by coalmines and heavy industry. Following the demolition of the ramparts of the old fortress, the city was able to grow rapidly, overtaking and swallowing up its neighbours to become the undisputed centre of a powerful and prosperous industrial region. The land formerly occupied by the fortifications was redeveloped very quickly, and in ten years it had disappeared below houses, schools, the new Law Courts, a barracks and many healthcare, cultural and recreational facilities. In a very short time, the city’s population

    doubled, then tripled. In recognition of its new role as a regional centre, the city council, led by Mayor Tirou, commissioned a splendid new Town Hall, which was completed in 1936. It was designed by the architects Joseph André and Jules Cézar in a combination of the Classical and Art Deco styles.

    St Christopher’s basilica church dates back to 1677, when the French, who had just conquered the city, erected a garrison chapel on this site dedicated to St Louis. All that remains of this chapel is its foundation stone, which was incorporated into the porch of the present-day church. In the eighteenth century, the church was enlarged and re-dedicated to St Christopher. All that remains of this Baroque church is the Choir (built in 1723) and part of the Nave (built in 1778-1781) by the architect Flavion. The church was badly damaged by French revolutionary troops in 1794, and then partly rebuilt. The facade underwent major alterations in 1863. Then, in 1956, the church was almost completely rebuilt by the architect Joseph André. He greatly enlarged it, adding a dome sixteen metres in diameter and forty-eight metres high, and moved the main entrance to the Rue Vauban. He transformed the remains of the old church into a transcept of the new church. In the new sanctuary is a huge mosaic depicting the Apocalypse.


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