Welcome to Charleroi

The Charleroi region

The biggest city in Wallonia (the French-speaking part of Belgium) and the third-biggest city in Belgium, Charleroi gladly welcomes you to its site.

A privileged situation in the heart of Europe

Map of BelgiumAs the economic and cultural centre of a conurbation of nearly half a million inhabitants, the city of Charleroi is an important centre for communications and transport by motorway and rail and on the river Sambre.

As the gateway to the Ardennes it is favourably located fifty kilometres (30 miles) south of Brussels, the European capital, and one hundred kilometres (60 miles) east of the important city of Lille.

Charleroi Airport


Charleroi has also a rapidly developing regional airport, Brussels South Charleroi Airport


Warm and cordial athmosphere

The " Carolos " (inhabitants of Charleroi) are well known for their enthusiasm, their generosity, their friendliness and their joie de vivre ...To them, a friendly welcome and hospitality really mean something. With its pedestrian zones, its squares, its parks, its arteries and its shopping malls as well as its touristic and leisure infrastructures, Charleroi is a comfortable city perfectly suited for walking and shopping. Every Sunday the weekly market attracts thousands of people, some of them coming from far away.
Its warm and picturesque athmosphere should be missed on no account ...

A black country turning green

 

 Formerly the capital of the black country and one of the richest areas of the industrial revolution producing coal, steel ans glass, Charleroi is today a major city being changed by urban and environmental transformations. The careful redesign of its centre and the revaluation of its heritage confirm its intention to improve the quality of its urban life. The numerous parks found in Charleroi as well as its sixty-two slag-heaps, most of them covered by vegetation, are the green lungs of a city with omnipresent flora

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A city of business

Large international corporations as well as small and medium-sized companies have chosen the favourable situation, the know-how and the dynamism of Charleroi to develop their activities. Special steels, aeronautical engineering, telecommunications, digital data processing, food production and agriculture, mechanical engineering, printing, chemistry, services both to business clients and to individuals, and many other sectors are well established at Charleroi. Igretec, a regional public facility, specializes in supporting the activities of small and medium-sized companies, particularly in export operations.

Charleroi, a city of sports...

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 A sporting city with high level soccer, basketball, volleyball, and table tennis activities, Charleroi is well equipped with an infrastructure matching its ambitions. In fact, it hosted the " Euro 2000 " events. Every year there are international events and competitions, such as " Astrid Bowl ", " Rallye Bianchi ", " 10 Miles ", cross country trials, Top Gym, etc ...

But the people’s sports enjoy just the same rights : the traditional " Pelote " is still played on the numerous courts in Charleroi.

... and culture

medleyFor its cultural activities Charleroi is also well worth a detour. The city is the home of prestigious annual exhibitions and numerous performances and shows.
The reputation of the Palais des Beaux Arts, the Museum of Photography, the " Charleroi Danse " Ballet ... (and other cultural facilities) are recognized even outside Belgium.
The Museums of Charleroi offer an opportunity to discover magnificent collections of paintings, sculptures, glass, photography, industrial archaelogy, science...

Charleroi is the cradle of the Belgian comic strip in the " Marcinelle School " style as illustrated by " Dupuis Publishers ". Amongst others you will meet Spirou and Fantasio, the Marsupilami, Lucky Luke, Boule et Bill, the Daltons ... in the centre of the city or when you use the underground


Land of traditions

The Carolos love to cultivate their traditional folk-music and dance and they gladly share it with their guests.
During the " Mardi Gras " Carnival, the city is crowded with " Gilles " and giants. The festivities last until Saturday, ending with the famous fancy-dress ball of the " Climbias ", a philanthropic association more than a century old.

The processions and the Napoleonic marches in the area between the rivers Sambre and Meuse are also events attracting an assembly of thousands of participants in historic costumes. Their origins reach back some centuries.
The fairs at Easter and in August transform the centre of the city into an immense public fête.

Charleroi, a city with a project

Since 1991, Charleroi has been devoted
to a city project defining its strategy for development. Additionally, in 1994 it passed the " Charleroi 21 " charter which defines the essential qualities to strive for. Charleroi wants to be a metropolitan city, open to the world, well balanced, comfortable, strong and young, with green lungs, integrating its elderly citizens, caring about its image, a place to live well, mobile, with low pollution and good health, a city of learning, one that works and innovates, a peaceful city of culture and sports, open to others


Charleroi in statistics

Surface : 102 km² (40 sq. mi) or 10.213 ha ; 57% urban area and 43% rural area (green areas, forests, agricultural land, ...)
Population : 206,898 inhabitants (24% under 20 and 23% over 60)
Population density : 2028 inhabitants / km² (5252 / sq. mi.)
Average temperatures :