Report - - Charbonnage du Hasard de Cheratte, Vise, Belgium, April 2018 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Charbonnage du Hasard de Cheratte, Vise, Belgium, April 2018


28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History

The Coal mine of Hasard de Cheratte a.k.a Charbonnage du Hasard de Cheratte (or Cheratte 10) opened in 1907. Owned by the Company Société anonyme des Charbonnages du Hasard boasted four mine shafts. Located in Cheratte, a part of the Belgian town of Visé located in the Walloon Region in the province of Liège. Mining had already been previously taking place on this site as the first well was dug in 1850 to a depth of 250 meters to extract dice coal. The shaft eventually passed the depth of water table of the nearby river, causing it to flood persistently. Pumps attached to steam engines were installed to keep the lower sections productive, but less than a year later, in 1877, the flooding caused a major tunnel collapse, trapping and drowning the workers in that section

It re-opened thirty years later in 1907 when engineers noticed that the thiny coal was located deeply so first mine was dug again and reaching a depth of 420 meters. It led to the construction of the first ever headframe in Belgium which was fitted with an extraction machine and several motors working with direct current. For some reason they built the tower and support structures in a medieval influenced neo-gothic style. Soon a washhouse followed in 1920, bult by Beer de Jemeppe along with a second extraction mine with a metallic tower. In 1927, the Belle-Fleur mine was equipped by a little tower made of reinforced concrete and a low-power winch to bring the tailings back to the surface. A third mine and a headframe were built between 1927 and 1947. By 1938 the mine had reached a depth of 313 metres but it only became operational in 1953. This was then extended to a depth of 480 metres. The extraction machine at its top could no longer cope so the mine’s engineer decide to install a machine on the floor, and to improve it. Acrchive picture of the mine in its heyday:

Cherrate old 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Subsequently the No. 1 mine stopped the extraction and was utilised as a rescue mine and its additional building converted to showers and cloakrooms. Shortly after No. 2 mine was sealed off. At its peak in the 1930s the site employed 1,500 miners which had fell to 600 when the mine finally closed on October 31, 1977. After its closure the site was purchased cheaply by Mr Armand Lowie, a Flemish real-estate developer who decided to dismantle it. However, several decrees were published to protect the site in 1978, 1982 and 1992.

In the early twenty-first century, the mine has gained some notoriety as an urban ruin and a mecca for urban explorers. Remediation of the site and the demolition of several buildings started in 2017 with the demolition of newer third mine headframe and associated buildings.

2. The Explore
This place has always fascinated me so with it being just over half an hour’s drive from where we were staying was always going to be a target. I knew that there had been some demo work on the newer part of the mine but didn’t no what to expect. On arrival the front of the site was very exposed and a new wire fence had been added. But as with most places it’s a question of going around the back. So a few wall hops later and the negotiation of a steep bank I was in. The palce didn’t disappoint. The architecture, the views and the sheer site of the place cannot fail to impress. Overall this was the favourite place on my Wallonian tour.

3. The Pictures
The first thing of interest I came over:

img6047 by HughieDW, on Flickr

From the side it looks a bit like a church:

Charbonneres 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Let’s start here:

Charbonneres 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6097 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6139 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Charbonneres 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Former shower rooms:

Charbonneres 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Charbonneres 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6087 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6085 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6073 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Odd bits of graff here and there:

img6098 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6090 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Looking up to Tower No.1:

Charbonneres 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some view down:

img6111 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6092 by HughieDW, on Flickr

and across…

img6081 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And on up to the top of tower No.1:

img6110 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6105 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6100 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some serious winding gear:

Charbonneres 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

More of the winding gear at the top of No.1 Shaft:

Charbonneres 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6113 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Looking back at the site:

img6129bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6120bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Tower detail:

img6128 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6131 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Connecting bridge over the road:

img6124 by HughieDW, on Flickr


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Very nice report. I remember when we went here the gate was open thinking great we just went in and up the tower not realising they were using the site for air soft, they had us trapped in the tower and were just firing non stop in the end we just ran for it. Bastards.