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Charleroi Travel Guide, Belgium

Charleroi, Travel-guide – Economy and Population

Charleroi, the largest city in Wallonia is situated on both banks of the river Sambre, 134 miles from Dusseldorf and 105 miles from Rotterdam, in an industrial area, having a population of 201.600 inhabitants. Including its metropolitan area it is considered to be the 5th city in Belgium in terms of population. Its inhabitants are called “Carolos”.

Charleroi changed a lot since the “pays noir” period being an amazing town, quite rich in culture nowadays. The art deco town hall, the museums, the parks, the Art Nouveau façades, and many others represent beauty and wealth for locals.

Many aspects of economical life were improved by the industries of steel, glasswork, chemicals and electrical engineering. Even if most of the factories do not exist since the 1950s, many slag heaps and old buildings still surround the city reminding people coming here of the city’s great industrial period.

Charleroi, Travel-guide – Commercial Areas and Shopping

If you look for commercial and financial life, Albert I Square, in the lower part of the city, is the best place you can choose especially since it is also the location where the important Mardi Gras takes place every year.

Close to the Gosselies Airport there is another commercial zone and business area that invites you to do and see some interesting things such as the Bois du Cazier, the Val de Sambre or Eau d”Heure complex for nature lovers.

The northern part of the town offers a whole range of shops, a shopping centre, a cinema complex called “Carollywood”, restaurants and a big car park. There you may be thrilled to find some banks to relax on and watch the extraordinary fountains.

The Rue de la Montagne' is the main shopping street of Charleroi, with international chains of clothes going from Lower to Upper Town and ending at the Place Charles II.

The theatre “Le Temps Choisis’ and other shopping centers or small shops welcome visitors who are nearby Chatelineau or Gilly.

The city is the centre of Comic Strip in Belgium. The Marcinelle school of Charleroi invites people to learn what “comic strip” and fun mean in a place where the joy of living overwhelms everybody.

Charleroi Travel-guide refers to its own souvenirs too, real profes of being there even for a couple of hours: various objects from industrial time are sold in such souvenir shops. The Bois du Cazier shop offers presents for family and friends like: vases, notebooks, local produces, jewelries. A lot of restaurants and pubs are to be found at the Place du Manege.

Charleroi, Travel-guide – Traditions and Famous People

The locals have many traditions, one of the most famous being the “Mardi Gras Festival” that is full of color and life expressed on fancy ball dresses.

Charleroi is also famous for some important people: Georges Lemaitre who formulated his own “Big Bang” theory, Jean Dupuis who printed his comic strip album in Charleroy, Jean-Marie Andre, a scientist, Jules Destree, lawyer and politician of the 19th century, Arthur Rimbaud, a well known poet who lived in Charleroi.

One can tell that friendship, generosity and hospitality are key words when talking about Charleroi Travel-guide.

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  • danpopOn the way back home through Charleroi
    review by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
    It was the 3rd of june, 2009. It was a beautiful morning in Lille, although clouds were threatening the sun and from what I saw they were about to convince it to hide. I got up really early, at least for me, at about 7 o’clock. Shower, eating, watching the beautiful landscape on the window...
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