Charleroi was far from being one of my top priorities in travelling expectations.
However, as if you read my pages you already know, my recent hobby -dancing - takes me to unexpected places, allowing the pleasure of unplanned visits.
This was the case, once more, and I spent a good day in Charleroi, collecting the ideas that I will register in this page.
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!
Queen Astrid Park
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 colors 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 neighboring 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!
Fine Arts Palace
Hotel de Ville
Rampart chapel and Saint Antoine de Padua (wrong - de Lisboa)
A long story to a small chapel - if you know french you may read it in Le Cercle Medieval. It was closed when we passed there.
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, and dedicated to the Portuguese Fernando de Bulhões, worldwide know as Saint Anthony, buried in... Pádua.It has many paintings and sculptures inside.
St Fiacre chapel
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
My map of Charleroi indicated close to the Justice Palace, as highlight, two famous lions - Tutur and Totor.
I spent some time around the palace, searching for them, and... couldn't find anything.
Maybe they were sent back to the jungle. Reading at home I found that they were moved to the new Justice Palace.
Oh God! Was I seeing the new or the old one? Were are the lions?
I need to return to Charleroi. Is it there anyone inviting us to dance in the area again?